Rabies: 10 more rabies-infected areas in Sibu, vaccination for all dogs mandatory

Getting wound thoroughly cleaned as soon as possible greatly reduces risk of rabies!

KUCHING, June 13: Ten more areas within the 10km radius of the previous two rabies cases detected in Sibu have been declared as rabies-infected areas as of today.

They are Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Lorong Permai Timur, Kampung Bahagia Jaya Teku, Sibujaya, Batu ½ Jalan Oya, Jalan Hua Kiew, Ulu Sungai Merah, Taman Sanhill Barat, Jalan Oya Lama and Jalan Sentosa.

The Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) thus emphasised that vaccination against rabies is mandatory for all dogs in 64 rabies-infected areas identified in Sarawak since the rabies outbreak in July 2017.

There are 22 areas identified in Serian, Kuching (7), Miri (6),five in Sri Aman, Sarikei and Mukah respectively, four in Bintulu and Samarahan respectively, Betong (3), Sibu (2) and Kapit (1).

“Anti-rabies vaccination is ongoing throughout the state even during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.

“It is important for all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies annually,” DVSS reminded in a statement today.

The Department informed that owners can bring their pet dogs to any nearby DVSS divisional offices to get their free anti-rabies vaccination during office hours.

“However, they have to adhere with the current SOP (standard operating procedure) such as practice social distancing as well as use hand sanitiser and face mask.

“DVSS will also conduct mobile vaccinations at kampungs to reach out to the rural areas in Sarawak,” the statement added.

DVSS warned that in accordance with the Anti-rabies Vaccination Order,it is an offence if the owner or person in charge of a dog fails without reasonable cause to comply with the law.

“The offenders can be fined not exceeding RM2,500 under Section 40, Veterinary Public Health Ordinance (VPHO), 1999 and dogs without evidence of vaccination may be detained or removed under this section,” DVSS said.

Meanwhile, DVSS also reminded owners not to let their dogs roam freely on the streets as it also constitutes an offence liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,500 under Section 37, VPHO 1999.

“Dog owners must keep their dogs under effective control either by confining it within an enclosed area from which it is impossible for the dog to escape, or tying it up securely, or leading it by a chain or lead of strong cord or leather properly secured to a collar or harness worn by the dog,” DVSS added.

Local authority, it warned, may seize and impound any dogs which are not on a leash in accordance with the Local Authorities (Dog Licensing and Control) by-laws, 2018.

From Jan 1 till June 13 this year, DVSS disclosed that a total of 7,518 dogs had been vaccinated with 41 per cent of them receiving booster vaccination.

The cumulative number of dogs vaccinated from 2017 until June 12, 2020 is 158,322.—DayakDaily