Rate of dog bites in Sibu still high, keep pets within compound

A council dog catcher removing a dog from the street.

SIBU, May 30: Residents here are advised to stay away from dogs on the street as the occurrence of dog bite cases here is still high.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) Clarence Ting also advised the people to keep their dogs within their house compounds.

“There are rabid dogs in Sibu. I am asking all residents to be careful when they see loose dogs. They could be rabid,” he said today.

Ting cautioned that those who let their dogs out in the public area could result in their animals contracting rabies and bring the disease home.

On requests by the public to catch stray dogs, he said the council is currently short-handed in its dog catching team.

The council, he said is mulling the idea of increasing its dog unit and might even have to contract the job to independent contractors.

“SMC is overwhelmed by request to catch dogs on the street. We have only 5 dog catchers. In April they caught 141 dogs and in May caught only 59,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at the SDMC’s daily Covid-19 press conference on May 28, said the number of dog bite cases in Sibu was high, comprising 35 per cent of monthly dog bite notifications received by Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak.

The latest case involved a 5-year-old boy who had been bitten by his pet dog on Sunday (May 24) at Taman Sanhill Barat.

DVS received the case the next day.

Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, said test results on May 27 through Antigen Rapid Rabies Ag Test showed that the dog tested positive for rabies.

The dog’s sample had also been sent to the Sarawak Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to be tested via Direct Fluorescent Antibody Technique, he disclosed.

Sarawak Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing meanwhile said that the child had been given the necessary treatment and vaccine and the case would be observed.

Areas statewide which declared as rabies-infected were Kuching (seven), Sri Aman (five), Sibu (two), Miri (six), Sarikei (five), Kapit (one), Bintulu (four), Samarahan (four), Betong (three), Serian (22), and Mukah (five).—DayakDaily

The council dog unit going round looking for stray dogs.