Hornbill Unleashed

July 20, 2017

On guard for rabies, Penang bans dogs from Perak and Sarawak

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Afif urged dog owners in Penang to ensure their pets are adequately vaccinated. — Picture by KE OoiPenang is on high alert to prevent the spread of rabies to the state and has banned the entry of dogs from Perak and Sarawak.

The Penang Veterinary Service Department (DVS) will also conduct roadblocks to stop the transportation of dogs from Perak into Penang.

“Penang doesn’t have any new rabies cases since the outbreak in 2015 and by September this year, we would be declared rabies free,” state executive councillor Dr Afif Bahardin said.

The agriculture, agro-based industry and rural development and health committee chairman told a press conference that the DVS took 32 samples from dogs this year and all tested negative for rabies so far.

In light of the recent case in nearby Kuala Sepetang in Taiping, Perak, Dr Afif said all dog owners in Penang are encouraged to ensure their pets are adequately vaccinated.

“We have already started conducting roadblocks to monitor the movement of dogs and to control dogs being brought in, especially those unlicensed dogs,” he said.

Unlicensed dogs being brought in from Perak will be seized, he added.

He confirmed that rabies was not only limited to dogs, but could be transmitted by all mammals including cats and rodents.

He said Penang now has a stray population of about 10,000 dogs while there are about 6,600 licensed canines in the state.

He called on all parties, especially those who feed these stray dogs and non-governmental organisations (NGO), to immediately inform the DVS if they notice any strange behaviours in the dogs.

“I advise the public, if you are bitten or come into contact with mammals especially dogs, please seek treatment immediately and report this to the authorities such as the police, the veterinary services department and the hospital,” he said.

Dr Afif added that the DVS operations room has remained active in the state since a rabies outbreak in 2015.

The DVS now offers anti-rabies vaccination at RM5 each. All vaccinated animals must also get an annual booster for the vaccine to remain effective.

The department has 3,870 doses of the vaccine currently and will increase the stock when needed.

Source : The Malay Mail Online by  OPALYN MOK



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