Dog licensing and control by-laws to come into force on Dec 1 in Sarawak

A dog suspected of having rabies is given a sedative by the Sarawak Department of Public Health in Kuching, January 3, 2018. — Bernama pic
A dog suspected of having rabies is given a sedative by the Sarawak Department of Public Health in Kuching, January 3, 2018. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Oct 22 — All new dog licensing and control by-laws will come into force on December 1 in a bid to control the spread of rabies in the state, said Sarawak Assistant Minister for Local Government Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil.

He said the new by-laws are applicable to all 26 local councils in the state, which will enable the local authorities to have more effective control over dog population in the state, which is estimated to be over 300,000.

“Under the new by-laws, local authorities may require dog owners to show proof that his or her dog has been vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccination or any other vaccinations before any licence can be issued or renewed.

“The by-laws will also empower local authorities to seize and impound any free-roaming dog for 48 hours and the seized dog shall only be released to the owner after he or she pays the impounding fee of RM50 per day or part hereof. Any unclaimed dog shall be put to sleep,” Dr Penguang told a press conference here today.

However, he said dogs belonging to Armed Forces, Police, Customs Department, Veterinary Department or any other government agencies were exempted from the operations of the by-laws.

He said this exemption was also given to dogs under the temporary care of Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal or any other body recognised and approved by the minister in charge for local government.

“Dogs in long-houses and villages in the remote areas are not required to be licensed, but the authority can vaccinate them for anti-rabies,” said Dr Penguang, who is also Marudi State Assemblyman.

He said under the by-laws, owners were limited to having three dogs for each landed property or one small breed in the case of the flats or apartment.

“It is also an offence for owners to keep diseased dog,” he said.

There are 13 cases of rabies disease which had claimed 12 lives reported so far. — Bernama