Wednesday, July 24

Rabies: 40 pct of samples tested positive for disease, vaccination a must for pets

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A DVSS personnel (left) injects a pet dog with the rabies vaccine during a previous mass vaccination exercise. File Photo

KUCHING: Rabies remains a major problem in the state, as eight out of 20 samples received by the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory collected from Kuching, Bau and Serian divisions as of the first week of June tested positive for rabies.

The eight samples which came back rabies positive were from Kampung Ranchan Bunuk (Serian), Kampung Sumpas, Balai Ringin (Serian), Bayang Estate, Off Lorong Wan Alwi (Kuching), Block 3, Jalan Muhibbah (Kuching), Halaman Kim San, Jalan Bampfylde (Kuching), Lorong Bowood 2A1, Taman Bowood (Kuching), Jalan Chawan (Kuching), and Jalan Semeba, Batu 5, Jalan Penrissen (Kuching).

“All positive cases were detected within a 10-kilometre radius of the designated rabies infected area. Most of the animals found to be rabies positive were never vaccinated against the disease. Therefore, DVSS would like to urge the public to vaccinate all their dogs against rabies in order to protect their pets and family members,” Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud said in a press statement dated June 14.

Dr Adrian said DVSS would continue to conduct rabies eradication programmes including mass vaccinations, awareness campaigns, surveillance and monitoring of the disease situation in Sarawak.

To date, a total of 119,873 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies since 2017.

“Vaccination is compulsory for dogs in order to eradicate the disease. It is an offence under Section 40, Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, if the owner did not vaccinate their dog. Any owner or person in charge of a dog who fails without reasonable cause to comply with any order or direction made or given under subsection (1) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,500.”

Dr Adrian appealed to the public to cooperate and ensure that their dogs were vaccinated.

“Door to door vaccination campaigns will be conducted during phase 4 of the rabies operation in Serian and Simunjan from June 20 to June 25. For those unable to send their dogs for vaccination during the operation, you can bring it to the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office during office hours.”