KUCHING (Feb 1): Thirteen samples from dogs have been confirmed positive for rabies in Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) areas since last year.
In stating this, Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, who is also the council chairman, said the data was received from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sarawak, which took samples from dogs caught in MPP areas.
He also said the caught dogs that were infected with rabies had been disposed of to prevent spread to humans through bites.
“The areas with rabies-positive dog cases are Mile 11, Kampung Quop, Beverly Hill Mile 13, Kampung Sungai Tapang, Batu Kawa, Kampung Jawa, Kota Sentosa, Mile 3 1/2, Kota Padawan and Mile 5. The council has been, and still is, carrying out stray removal activities at these areas and also other localities,” he said to reporters after chairing MPP full council meeting yesterday.
Lo also disclosed that almost half, or 48.9 per cent (1,259), out of the 2,576 cumulative dog bite cases recorded in Kuching Division last year, had occurred in MPP areas.
He said in the first epidemiological week of this year (Epid Week 1 – Jan 1 to 7, 2023), 45 animal bite case were recorded in Kuching Divison, out of which 23 cases had occurred in MPP areas.
“Eighty-six per cent of the bite cases were from pet dogs; that is why all pet dogs need to be vaccinated and they must not be allowed to roam freely with strays to prevent rabies infection,” he added.
Lo also said MPP had collaborated with DVS Sarawak in running the dog licensing programme, mass vaccination and micro-chip installation exercises, four times last year – taking place at Semenggo Veterinary Office, SJK Chung Hua Batu Kawa Lama, SJK Chung Hua Sungai Tapang and Kota Sentosa Basketball Court.
He pointed out that through these programmes, 479 dog licenses were issued, 710 dogs underwent vaccination, and 485 dogs were micro-chipped.
He also said based on statistics for Sarawak, a total of 1,325 stray dogs were captured and disposed of throughout last year, conducted during the daily operations as well as other integrated operations.
The number, he specified, included 30 stray dogs caught by MPP in joint operations with other agencies in May and December last year, focusing on areas where rabies bites and related cases had been reported such as Batu Kawa, Matang Jaya, Jalan Penrissen, Kota Padawan, Moyan and Kota Sentosa.
“For 2023, the MPP plans to continue activities such as mass vaccination, licensing and micro-chipping with the related agencies, as well as holding an integrated rabies control operation involving various agencies such as police, the Immune Belt Enforcement Teams Sarawak (IBETS), DVS Sarawak and other councils across Kuching Division,” he said.
On another matter, Lo said the numbers of road accidents and fatalities recorded in MPP areas last year almost doubled those registered in the previous year.
He said last year, there were 2.065 road accidents recording 25 fatalities, versus 1,528 cases involving 14 fatalities in 2021.
As such, he called upon motorists to always uphold good driving habits such as avoiding driving under influence or using mobile phones while driving.
“Always be careful when driving on the roads where works are on-going on the Pan Borneo Highway,” he reminded.