State adopting multipronged approach to tackle rabies in the long-term

Dr Adrian is seen vaccinating a pet dog during an outreach programme held at Desa Wira community hall in Kuching on Sept 1, 2018.

KUCHING, Sept 6: The state government’s long term efforts to curb the rabies outbreak in Sarawak, amongst others, will have to include microchipping, vaccinating and making it compulsory for dog owners to obtain licences for their pets.

According to the director of the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) Dr Adrian Susin, his department along with the local councils were now implementing the directive by the State Disaster Management Committee under its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas to tackle the issue heads on.

“DVSS will cooperate with the local councils to implement vaccinating, registration such as microchipping and making it compulsory for dog owners to obtain licences for their pets as a long-term plan to curb the spread of rabies in Sarawak,” Dr Adrian told DayakDaily here today.

As a mid-term plan, DVSS, State Health Department and the councils have been reaching out to people in all the divisions so as to educate them on the danger of rabies.

“This includes outreach programmes in all divisions which have not been affected such as Limbang, Miri, Bintulu and Kapit. The councils have also assisted us in tackling stray dogs in these areas,” he said.

Concurrently, Dr Adrian said, DVSS is focusing on and will continue containing the disease in Serian Division where it was first detected in July last year.

Dr Adrian Susin Ambud

“At the same time, on every Saturday, we will carry out free vaccination services for pet dogs in the affected areas especially here in Kuching and Kota Samarahan. Whereas Sri Aman, Betong and Sarikei are currently carrying vaccination at the affected areas,” he said.

When contacted, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil said he was very disappointed with irresponsible reports by certain individuals on social media which have painted a negative picture of the role of the councils.

“Lest the people forget, the Ministry of Local Government and 20 district councils in Sarawak were successfully certified under MS ISO 9001: 2015 standards on December 15, 2015, and became the first in Malaysia to be awarded with the MS ISO 9001:2015.”

The scope of certification includes solid waste management; library services; licensing; enforcement of laws and regulations of local authorities; valuation and referencing; management of office; monitoring of development projects; maintenance of infrastructures and public facilities; building control; human resources management; inspectorate and development project management in the local authorities.

Penguang pointed out that the people should not make the councils as punching bags and blame them for everything especially concerning stray dogs.

“What we need is a society where everyone plays their role. In the fight against rabies, everyone especially dog owners must cooperate with the councils and relevant authorities on how best to curb the rabies outbreak,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, when contacted, both the mayor of Kuching South City Council Dato James Chan and Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang stressed that the councils which they headed have been doing all they could in assisting the relevant authorities to curb the spread of rabies by removing unvaccinated stray dogs from populated areas. — DayakDaily