Councils urged not to capture stray dogs that have undergone CNVR programme

KUCHING: Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) is urging local councils not to capture stray dogs that have undergone the CNVR (Capture, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return) programme as they pose no threat and act as deterrent for unvaccinated dogs from entering their territory.

SSPCA president Datin Dona Drury-Wee said that SSPCA and Save Our Strays (SOS) Kuching had vaccinated and neutered about 800 dogs and cats so far, which can be easily identified by their plastic chain collars.

As of June 2017, the rabies vaccination was included under the standard round of vaccines for all their CNVR dogs, part of which was a programme with Kuching South City Council (MBKS).

“To neuter and vaccinate a dog, including the rabies vaccine, costs an average of RM300 per dog, which means around RM200,000 has been spent on these animals, not to mention the time taken to capture each one,” she told The Borneo Post yesterday.

If a dog with rabies comes into an area where all the dogs are vaccinated, the virus will not be able to spread because the vaccinated dogs will be immune, which Wee said is the best line of defence.

“The same reason we vaccinate our children against meningitis and polio – this is the only way to eradicate the disease.”

Wee said SSPCA had asked the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) and local councils to make vaccination compulsory for all dogs, whether pets or strays, against rabies in order to curb the disease.

She also urged pet owners to keep their pets within their compound, and offer safe shelter to any ‘community dogs’ they feed or have room for.

SSPCA and SOS Kuching will be assisting the local council to look for premises to hold the captured dogs for 48 hours to allow pet owners to come and claim their animals.

Any company or person who has a property, with electricity and water, and is willing to let SSPCA use it as an interim shelter and holding area for these animals, are asked to contact [email protected] or through their Facebook page.

Although several dogs in the Batu Kawa/Matang area had tested positive for rabies, this did not mean the attempt to create a buffer zone had failed, Wee added.

“A buffer zone cannot be created within four or five months. It is created by systemic and repeated vaccinations over two to three years in order to ensure that at least 70 per cent of the dog population has been vaccinated,” she said.

Currently, Sarawak does not have proper dog census statistics on how many per cent have been vaccinated.

“We will be working with the DVS to organise more regular mass vaccination programmes in the rabies-affected areas, with a proper health card to be issued to each dog and its owner so that proper tracking can be done, and more dogs will get vaccinated.”

SSPCA would like to remind the public that it is their duty as pet owners to keep their pets within their compound, which is a council by-law in the state.

“No owned pet should be free roaming. A licence doesn’t mean your dog can roam outside your premises,” it said.

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