Pet dogs to “stay at home” too to avoid not Covid-19, but rabies

Yii (left) talking about rabies as Dr Sim (top right), Wee (middle right) and Ting (bottom right) listened on.

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, May 22: Pet owners are urged to ensure that their dogs “stay at home” too these days, not to avoid contracting Covid-19 but rabies that is also a viral disease with high human mortality rate when infected.

Miri City Council (MCC) mayor Adam Yii said there are, as of to date, 33 cases in Sarawak where humans were infected with rabies after getting a dog bite and 31 of them did not survive it.

He added that for this year alone, there were two fatalities reported of rabies, thus it should not be neglected when everyone’s attention is diverged towards Covid-19.

“Rabies is also a serious issue. I feel like everyone’s attention is on Covid-19 now, so the severity of rabies is overlooked,” he said.

He was responding to a previous incident where a pet dog known as ‘Xiao Bai’ was found dead after being tranquilised by the MCC Dog Catching Unit as it was mistaken for a stray dog along with four others at a carpark near Boulevard Trading, Taman Tunku.

Later investigations found that Xiao Bai died due to low and poor resistance towards the tranquiliser shot.

Following the death news of Xiao Bai, Yii said MCC was rained down with responses and retaliations from animal lovers, but he emphasised that all dogs found roaming in public places are to be treated as stray dogs regardless of whether they are licensed or vaccinated.

However unpreventable and heart-breaking the situation was, he expressed sympathy that an innocent life was lost, what more to say that Xiao Bai had an owner.

“So, the severity of rabies is the reason why local councils are out there catching stray dogs.

“MCC has always been urging animal lovers to be loving and responsible at the same time. While getting your pet dogs vaccinated, the most important thing is to keep them within the housing compounds.

“Otherwise, they would be exposed to rabies easily and it could endanger not only you and your family, but also the general public,” he said during a Facebook live session by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng today.

Other invited guests to the live session included Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting. — DayakDaily