Owners warned not to release their dogs in rabies infested areas






Dog owners are warned that they risk getting fined and even jailed for releasing their dogs to roam freely in rabies infested areas.Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) in a statement issued here yesterday said it is compulsory for dog owners in areas which are already gazetted as rabies- infested to confine their dogs to their homes.


It said the owners are also prohibited from taking the dogs out of rabies infested areas without permission from State Veterinary Authority.

“Under Section 37(2) and (3) of the Public Health Ordinance 1999, it is an offence to let dogs room freely (in rabies infested areas), and to take away dogs from rabies infested areas without getting a written permission from the State Veterinary Authority.

“A fine of not more than RM5,000, or jail term not more than three months, or both, will be meted on the offender if found guilty,” it said.

So far, 24 areas in Sarawak have been gazetted as rabies-infested. The latest to be declared rabies-infected is Taman Allamanda Indah in Jalan Matang on Sept 11 following dog samples from the area that tested positive for rabies.

Serian Division has the most rabies infested areas; namely Kpg Krait, Paon Rimu, Paon Rimu Bakung, Remum, Lebor, Saroban, Tangga, Ampungan, Mentong Berawan, Mentong Silaga, Engkabang, Tampek Sumpas, Rasau, Temong Mura, Entubuh and town areas like Siburan, Serian and Mile 45 Jalan Kuching-Serian.

In Kuching, the rabies infected areas are Mile 5 Jalan Semeba, Sungai Maong wet market, Kampung Serikin in Bau apart from Taman Allamanda Indah. In Sri Aman, Rumah Janta Punggu Mawang has been declared as rabies-infected.

Since the outbreak in June, the rabies virus has taken the lives of four young children and a 52-year-old man, according to JPBN.

JPBN also informed that 150 dogs were vaccinated by Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) at the Multipurpose Hall in Taman Malihah yesterday, bringing the total number of pet animas vaccinated so far to 36,144 comprising 28,238 dogs, 7,861 cats and 45 other animals.

A total of 1,558 stray dogs have also been caught during the combined operations conducted by Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the DVS in Kuching, Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Samarahan and Betong divisions so far.

Meanwhile, Serian Division again recorded the highest number of new animal bites reported to the state Health Department yesterday.

A total of 20 new animal bite cases were reported comprising 10 in Serian Division, six in Sri Aman Division and four in Kuching Division.

Nineteen of those cases were by pets (11 by dogs and eight by cats) while the other case was a bite by a stray cat.

So far, 1,287 people have received anti-rabies vaccination, which was only given after clinical tests.
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