202,700 dogs vaccinated against rabies in Sarawak since outbreak in 2017 – DVSS

Dr Adrian said yearly anti-rabies vaccination is a must for all dogs in Sarawak, and all dog owners are urged to get their dogs vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccination at the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office. – File photo

KUCHING (March 17): The Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) has vaccinated a total of 202,700 dogs against rabies throughout the state since the outbreak in 2017, said DVSS director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud.

Dr Adrian said yearly anti-rabies vaccination is a must for all dogs in Sarawak, and all dog owners are urged to get their dogs vaccinated with anti-rabies vaccination at the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office.

“All animal lovers are urged to stop collecting or adopting strays with unknown vaccination status or source and always seek immediate medical treatment when bitten by any animal even if it is your own pet,” said Dr Adrian in a statement today.

He added that DVSS has conducted 150 rabies sampling on animals through the Direct Fluorescent Antibody Technique (dFAT) and 31 were tested positive.

The state has a total of 33 accumulative rabies cases with 31 deaths since the rabies outbreak was declared in the state on July 1, 2017. This included two deaths recorded on March 13 in the state this year. The two rabies death cases recorded in Sibu and Kuching, were also the first two for the country this year.

A total number of 67 areas in Sarawak has been declared as rabies-infected areas since the outbreak started in 2017: Kuching (7), Sibu (2), Miri (6), Sarikei (5), Kapit (1), Bintulu (4), Samarahan (4), Betong (3), Serian (22), Mukah (6) and Limbang (1) and Sri Aman (6).

Dr Adrian reminded all dog owners and person-in-charge of a dog to comply with the Anti-Rabies Vaccination Order.

He said dog owners who failed to comply without a reasonable cause can be fined not exceeding RM2,500 under Section 40(7), Veterinary Public Health Ordinance (VPHO), 1999.

Dogs without evidence of vaccination may be detained or removed under this section, he added.

Owners who let their dogs roam freely on the streets shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,500 under Section 37(5)(a), VPHO 1999.

“Dog owners must keep their dogs under effective control either by confining it within an enclosed area from which it is impossible for the dog to escape, or tying it up securely, or leading it by a chain or lead of strong cord or leather properly secured to a collar or harness worn by the dog,” he said.

Dr Adrian said the local authority may seize and impound any dogs which are not on a leash in accordance with the Local Authorities (Dog Licensing and Control) by-laws, 2018.

He said continuous surveillance and vaccination across Sarawak will be carried out by the department, he said.

For more information, visit Sarawak Disaster Information or DVSSarawak Facebook page or WhatsApp to 016-2557267.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2021/03/17/202700-dogs-vaccinated-against-rabies-in-sarawak-since-outbreak-in-2017-dvss/