DVS Sarawak to run six more anti-rabies programmes for remainder of 2022

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Lo hugs a dog named ‘Milo the Doggo’ during the programme, as Dr Adrian (left) and others look on. — Photo by Harry Izzdin

KUCHING (April 2): The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak will be running six more anti-rabies programmes throughout the remainder of this year, as a way to provide the public with easy access for vaccination, dog-licensing, and also micro-chipping.

In stating this, DVS Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud called upon all communities, especially pet owners, to participate in the programme, where they are able to obtain key information about rabies and the vaccination drive.

“Starting with this one today (April 2), we will be hosting the programme on a monthly basis, covering areas such as Jalan Penrissen, Batu Kawa, and Matang-Malihah in Kuching.

“Public cooperation is vital when it comes to efforts in curbing the spread of rabies,” he told reporters at DVS Sarawak headquarters in Semenggok near here today.

According to Dr Adrian, over 208,886 dogs have undergone vaccination since the rabies outbreak in Sarawak in 2017, but from the figure, only 20 per cent have been receiving booster jabs annually.

“With a total of 14 areas being rabies-positive, it is imperative for owners to have their pets vaccinated,” he added.

It is informed that the rabies-infected areas across Sarawak include Sungai Tapang Batu Kawah in Kuching, Mile 10 Padawan, Mile 11 and Mile 11 1/2 of Jalan Kuching-Serian, Taman Beverly Hill in Padawan, Jalan Bukit Ensuna in Serian, Tebako in Lundu, Munggu Demam Batu Lintang in Sri Aman, Sungai Ara in Lubok Antu, Lorong Kandis 6D in Sibu, Telok Assan Jalan Paradom in Sibu, and Sungai Tulai in Bintangor.

Adding on, Dr Adrian also reminded pet owners, especially of dogs, that failure to have the animals vaccinated against rabies would be regarded as an offence under Section 40 of Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999.

“This is why DVS Sarawak is holding mass vaccination, licensing and microchipping exercises at two different locations – one at its headquarters here, and the other at the community hall in Serian, where we also provide neutering service.

“The insertion of the microchip is intended to identify the dog’s owner, via the data that it contains, should the dog accidentally wander off or be released at a public place,” he said.

Also attending the press conference was Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, who stressed the importance of raising awareness and responsibility amongst the owners with regard to taking care of their pets.

“By registering your dogs via licensing, the corresponding authorities would be able to gain and share accurate information about the dog population within a specific area, which would assist them in resource-planning for vaccination, control, and also prevention of rabies,” said the assemblyman, who is also Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman.

Lo also called upon the owners to confine their pets within their home compounds to minimise contact with stray dogs that might be rabies-infected.