Sarawak imposes ban on movement of dogs along border with Kalimantan to curb rabies

Sarawak Veterinary Services Department personnel put down a puppy showing symptoms of being infected by rabies virus in Kampung Lebor, Gedong, Serian, July 5, 2017. — Bernama pic
Sarawak Veterinary Services Department personnel put down a puppy showing symptoms of being infected by rabies virus in Kampung Lebor, Gedong, Serian, July 5, 2017. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Aug 23 — The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) today imposed a total ban on the movement of dogs both in and out of Sarawak along its border with Kalimantan, in a bid to curb the spread of rabies.

Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said officers of government agencies manning the entry and exit points along the border have been directed to enforce the total ban.

“The total ban is another move to eradicate the rabies outbreak in the state under SDMC’s surveillance and monitoring strategy,” he told reporters after chairing the committee meeting here.

He said the next phase of the operation to vaccinate dogs in Sibu, Kanowit, Kapit, Song, Saratok, Sarikei, Meradong and Julau districts will be held from August 28 to September 12.

He added since last year, a total of 10,203 dogs (34 per cent of the dog population in Sibu, 578 (38.53 per cent) in Kanowit, 693 (37 per cent) in Kapit, 311(21 per cent) in Song, 328 (35.46 per cent) in Saratok, and 5,900 (80 per cent) in Sarikei have been jabbed with rabies vaccination.

He said the State Veterinary Services Department had vaccinated 2,478 or 83 per cent of the total dog population in Meradong and 2,040 or 68 per cent of the dog population in Julau.

Uggah also expressed his disappointment with those who had been bitten by their pet dogs and cats but did not seek immediate medical treatment.

“They do not care at all to seek immediate treatment at the anti-rabies clinic in government hospitals,” he said, adding that the failure could lead to their death.

“This is despite the many publicity campaigns, talks and statements and radio announcements and reminders that we have done.”

Uggah said, according to official statistics, an average of 300 dog bites per week are reported in the state.

He also advised those who want to adopt puppies or kittens to be aware of the history of the animals, including if they have been vaccinated and when.

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