Hornbill Unleashed

July 21, 2017

Sarawak seeks collaboration with Indonesia to tackle spread of rabies

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg (2nd right) watching a dog being vaccinated at the Kota Padawan community hall July 20, 2017. — Picture by Sulok TawieDeputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas will lead a team for a meeting with Indonesian consulate here tomorrow to tackle the spread of rabies in the state.

The meeting is expected to discuss a possibility of creating a buffer zone between the villages of Sarawak and West Kalimantan, at border areas where cases of rabies are known to have occurred.

“We want to collaborate with the Indonesian authorities to tackle the spread of rabies because based on records that we have there were dogs that came from the other side to our villages,” Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg said today.

Apart from Uggah, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian will also attend the team meeting with the Indonesian consulate.

Abang Johari spoke to reporters after visiting volunteers from the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and workers from the State Veterinary Department vaccinating dogs at the community hall here.

He said creating the buffer zone would prevent dogs from either Sarawak or West Kalimantan crossing the international boundary.

Abang Johari said that there is a possibility the rabies outbreak in Serian Division was spread by rabid dogs from West Kalimantan.

“Sharing of knowledge and information with the Indonesian authorities is very important and useful if we want to contain the outbreak,” the chief minister said, adding that he is uninformed about the rabies situation in West Kalimantan.

He said the federal government has allocated RM2.4 million while the state government gave RM500,000 to the State Veterinary Department to purchase vaccine for dogs and cats, and equipment for the frontliners.

Abang Johari said the vaccination of dogs in Kota Padawan is to prevent the spread of rabies to Kuching City from Siburan township, which has been designated as a rabies-infected area.

“Kota Padawan at Km12 Kuching-Serian road is chosen as a buffer after a dog in Siburan township at Km17 has been detected to have been infected by rabies virus,” he said, adding that the dog has already been put to sleep.

The chief minister said all owners from Kota Padawan and the nearby Kota Sentosa have been asked to bring their pets for vaccination.

Meanwhile, Uggah said two cats from Kampung Sungai Paon Rimu Bakong and another from Kampung Ampungan, both in Serian Division, have been put to sleep after they were detected to have been infected with rabies virus.

However, he said the rabid cats did not bite anyone.

Source : The Malay Mail Online by  SULOK TAWIE



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