Dr Chuo (second right) holds up a poster for the SVA Animal Awareness Run after the press conference yesterday. With him are Wee (left) and other committee members from SVA and SSCPA.
KUCHING: Eatery operators risk having their business licence suspended or even revoked if they are found to be feeding and harbouring stray animals at their business premises.
Sarawak Veterinary Association (SVA) president Dr Chuo Hock Tieng said owners will also face the same penalty if their customers are the ones feeding the strays, as stated under Section 145 of the Local Authority Ordinance 1996.
“Once you feed a stray at an eatery, the stray will most likely remain in that area as it knows where to get its food,” said Chuo in a press conference on rabies awareness here yesterday.
He also stressed that the local councils should take a more proactive role in catching the remaining strays at commercial and residential zones as quickly as possible to curb the spread of the rabies virus, which claimed its latest human victim here on Sunday.
“Please do it (catching of strays) properly. Do not do it halfway as it will defeat the purpose,” he added.
Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) president Datin Dona Drury-Wee, who was also present at the press conference, said those who like to feed stray animals should do so away from eateries.
She said it is more hygienic for the feeding of strays to be done at a distance from eateries, while also advising against the use of plastic or polystyrene food packs when feeding strays to avoid leaving behind an unnecessary mess.
In view of the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, Wee reminded pet owners to make sure that their pets have a quiet and enclosed place to be when the fireworks start going off.
“Some animals get very distressed during this period and tend to run off in fear.
“Keep your pet dogs or cats inside during fireworks; the best would be with some human companionship. You could place your pet in a closet or keep it in a cage with a box it can hide in,” she added.
She also said it was important for pets to have proper identification tags, preferably with the owner’s contact number on it, in case it runs out and gets lost.
Wee also stressed that owners should not bring their pets back to their hometown with them during the festive season to prevent the movement of animals and the spread of the virus.
On another note, both SVA and SSCPA lauded the move by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah in signing the Anti-Rabies Vaccination Order on Feb 2.
Under the order, it has become compulsory for all pet owners throughout Sarawak to vaccinate their dogs – regardless whether they live in an outbreak or non-outbreak area.
To further curb the spread of the virus, two anti-rabies mass vaccination exercises will be held at the Stampin Resettlement Scheme community hall and at the SUPP Tupong multi-purpose hall on Feb 10. A similar exercise will also be held in Miri on Feb 11.
Those who do not have the time or means to send their pets to the mass vaccination programme are advised to visit www.sarawakvet.blogspot.com to get a full list of veterinary clinics in their respective division.
Starting yesterday, dogs that receive anti-rabies jab will also be given an anti-rabies vaccination record card as proof of vaccination.