KUCHING: Eight of the 20 samples received by the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (SVDL) in the first week of this month have tested positive for rabies.
The eight samples were collected from Kampung Ranchan Bunuk, Serian; Kampung Sumpas, Balai Ringin; 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.
The samples were collected from Kuching, Bau, and Serian, with all positive cases found within a 10-km radius of rabies-infected areas.
According to the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS), most of the recent positive cases were never vaccinated against rabies. DVSS urged the public to vaccinate all their dogs against
rabies to protect their pets and families.
The department will continue rabies eradication programmes including mass vaccination, awareness campaigns, surveillance, and monitoring of the disease.
Since 2017, a total of 119,873 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies.
Vaccination is compulsory for dogs to eradicate the disease.
DVSS also pointed out it is an offence under Section 40, Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, for owners not to vaccinate their dogs.
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
with a maximum fine of RM2,500.
Door-to-door vaccination campaigns will be conducted during the fourth phase of the rabies operation in
Serian and Simunjan from tomorrow until Tuesday (June 20-25).
Those unable to send their dogs for vaccination during the operation can bring them to the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office during office hours.
Sarawak has recorded 19 rabies cases, including 18 fatal ones, so far.