Wednesday, September 28

‘Number of dogs vaccinated below expectation’

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Veterinary staff administers rabies vaccine at Lutong Basketball Court.

MIRI: Only 363 dogs were vaccinated during the second round of free mass rabies vaccination campaign held at three locations here yesterday.

The number was below expectation by the Divisional Natural Disaster Management Committee which had secured 5,000 vaccine doses for this weekend campaign.

Divisional veterinary officer Dr Sylmie Al-Harir said when the campaign closed at 4pm yesterday, the team at Taman Awam Miri recorded the highest number of dogs vaccinated at 164, followed by the Lutong Basketball Court team (141 dogs) while Taman Bulatan Miri in Piasau Jaya team vaccinated 58 dogs.

Thus the number of dogs vaccinated with rabies vaccine (including yesterday) in Miri District from January to Oct 13 this year was 9,248.

“The lower turnout was probably because most owners had brought their dogs for vaccination last weekend and in the earlier campaigns.

“It couldn’t be due to weather as it started raining only after we finished,” said Dr Slymie when contacted.

She hoped that those who have not vaccinated their dogs will do so today at any of these three locations from 9 am to 4pm.

Alternatively they can come to the Veterinary Services Department at Pelita Commercial Centre during office hours from 8.30am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

Dr Slymie urged the people to take rabies threat seriously as two more areas in Miri namely Miri Airport and Shin Yang Plywood Sdn Bhd area in Kuala Baram have been declared as new rabies infected areas yesterday.

On Sept 27, Piasau Jaya and Lutong Shell Miri were declared rabies infected areas.

She said one way to help control the deadly disease from spreading was to have their dogs and cats vaccinated.

She added that next weekend free mass rabies vaccination will include Permyjaya Tudan and Desa Senadin while the date for the campaign in the newly declared rabies infected areas will be decided during the next meeting of the committee ( Divisional Natural Disaster Management Committee).

Meanwhile, a random check found that many stray dogs were roaming the streets here including near The Borneo Post office at the Miri Waterfront area with five or more dogs seen roaming nightly.