DVSS director: Rabies situation in Sarawak under control, public urged to get their pets vaccinated

Posted on 19 Jul 2020
Source of News: The Borneo Post

Source: The Borneo Post Sarawak

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

SERIAN: Rabies is still under control in Sarawak although two new cases were recorded in Sibu last month, says state Department of Veterinary Service director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud. He believed rabies can be fully controlled if every dog in Sarawak is vaccinated. He assured that the mass vaccination exercise would continue to be carried out throughout the state to contain the rabies outbreak.

“Our vaccination campaign in ongoing. This year alone we have vaccinated 9,200 dogs and we will continue the vaccination activities because only through administering the vaccine can we contain the rabies. Thus far, we have vaccinated a total of 168,000 dogs out of the estimated population 0f 200,000 in Sarawak,” he told reporters after the presentation of livestock rearing project input here today.

Dr Adrain said if possible, they wanted to vaccinate all dogs in Sarawak, and urged dog owners to come forward with their pets. He noted that in terms of samples, they have taken 180 samples this year and out or the total, 69 tested positive for rabies. This, he said, showed that rabid dogs were still in the wild in Sarawak.

“We will carry out more mass vaccinations, and next week we will conduct a village-to-village mass vaccination exercise in Serian. We have done it in Lundu, now we are doing it in Bau. We are also in the midst of carrying out vaccination activities in Sibu now,” he said.

Dr Adrian also encouraged the public to bring their dogs to any nearby government veterinary service office in the state for their dog to be vaccinated. To date, three dog owners have been fined RM1,000 each for letting their pets roam stray outside.

“If possible, neuter your dogs to reduce the dog population. Also, do not pick up stray dogs from the roadside because you don’t know its status, and so it’s dangerous,” he said.

He also reminded the public to wash any wounds immediately with soap for 15 minutes if bitten before going to the hospital.He noted that rabies can be prevented if wounds are washed thoroughly and properly upon being bitten, but once symptoms begin to appear, it might be too late.

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