Rabies: Nearly 120,000 dogs vaccinated; disease still a concern

Dr Adrian Susin Ambud

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KUCHING, June 18: To date, a total of 119,873 dogs across the state have been vaccinated against rabies since 2017.

In addition, the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) will continue to implement rabies eradication programmes, including mass vaccination, awareness campaign, surveillance and monitoring of the disease situation.

In a statement, DVSS director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud said as of the first week of this month, the state Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SVDL) had received 20 samples from Kuching, Bau and Serian for rabies testing.

Out these, eight samples were tested positive. They were from (1) Kampung Ranchan Bunuk, Serian, (2) Kampung Sumpas, Balai Ringin, Serian, (3) Bayang Estate, Off Lorong Wan Alwi, Kuching, (4) Block 3, Jalan Muhibbah, Kuching, (5) Halaman Kim San, Jalan Bampfylde, Kuching, (6) Lorong Bowood 2A1, Taman Bowood, Kuching, (7) Jalan Chawan, Kuching, and (8) Jalan Semeba, Batu 5, Jalan Penrissen, Kuching.

All the positive cases were within the 10km radius of rabies-infected areas.

“Most of the recent positive cases were never vaccinated against rabies. Therefore, DVSS would like to urge the public to vaccinate all their dogs against rabies in order to protect their pets and families. Vaccination is compulsory for dogs in order to eradicate the disease,” he advised.

It is an offence under Section 40 of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999 if the owner did not vaccinate their dog. Any owner or person in charge of a dog who fails without reasonable cause to comply with any order or direction made or given under subsection (1) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence. The penalty is a fine not exceeding RM2,500.

“DVSS appeals to the public to cooperate and ensure that their dogs are vaccinated. The door-to-door vaccination campaign will be conducted during Phase 4 of the rabies operation in Serian and Simunjan from June 20–25.

“For those who are unable to send their dogs for vaccination during the operation, you can bring it to the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office during office hours,” he said. — DayakDaily