Sibu dog owners urged to do their part to curb rabies outbreak

A stray dog watches people eat at a coffeeshop in Sibu.

SIBU, June 18: Dog owners here have been told to be more responsible for their animals after 10 more areas have been declared as rabies-infected areas.

The issue has been simmering since June 13, when the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) revealed these 10 areas as Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Lorong Permai Timur, Kampung Bahagia Jaya Teku, Sibujaya, Mile 1/2 Jalan Oya, Jalan Hua Khiew, Ulu Sungai Merah, Taman Sanhill Barat, Jalan Oya Lama and Jalan Sentosa.

The local authorities have long been taking action to prevent the outbreak of rabies here but public cooperation especially from dog owners is very much needed also.

DVSS Sibu chief Ainul Riza Abu Seman is appealing to the public to vaccinate their animals against rabies.

“As head of the veterinary department here, I would like to call on dog owners to bring their pets for vaccination. This is important if we want to break the spread of rabies here,” she said, adding the free vaccination is available at her department’s premises at Jalan Perpaduan.

“Our purpose of doing this is to ensure that the community will feel safe from rabies. I hope all dog owners will assist and cooperate with us in ensuring that your pets are vaccinated,” she said.

Ainul said dog and cat owners who wanted to control the population of their animals by spaying them, could also get the procedure done at the department.

“We also have to control the number of stray dogs and cats in town as this is also one of the ways to prevent the outbreak of rabies cases here,” she explained.

She noted that it was not easy to know whether a stray dog is free from rabies and thus, the only method is to minimise the number of stray dogs. — DayakDaily