Thursday, October 17

Rabies: Engkilili longhouse latest to be declared infected, bringing number of areas to 63

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Pet owners getting their dogs vaccinated during mass free anti-rabies vaccination programme. File Photo

KUCHING: A longhouse in Engkilili, Rh Samuel Adeng, has now been declared the latest rabies infected area, bringing the total number of gazetted rabies infected areas in Sarawak to 63.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said this was necessitated after the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak detected two rabies-positive dogs there.

The longhouse is also located outside the 10km radius of any rabies infected areas which are already gazetted.

According to Uggah, who is also Sarawak Disaster Management Committee chairman, a dog owner from that longouse had refused to allow the vaccination team to vaccinate his dog last year.

The dog owner also said none of the dogs which were vaccinated at the longhouse had died.

“He had hidden his dog when the team from the state Veterinary Department came to the longhouse to carry out the vaccination operation. He feared his dog would die if it were vaccinated,” explained Uggah in a statement today.

On the rabies-positive dogs in that longhouse, he said this was detected following tests carried out at the DVS laboratory on samples carried out on 14 samples coming from Kuching, Serian, Bintulu, Kapit and Sri Aman divisions from July 5 to 12.

On a related matter, Uggah said the Phase 5 of the statewide integrated anti-rabies operation will be carried out from July 31 to August 3 covering the Sri Aman, Lubok Antu and Betong districts.

“I appeal to all dog owners in these areas to have their dogs vaccinated.

“Please co-operate with us and bear in mind that rabies is a life threatening disease,” he said.