By S. Harrish
SARAWAK has stepped up efforts to contain the rabies outbreak in the state and has declared 10 areas in Sibu as rabies positive after two children were bitten by rabid dogs.
The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the areas are Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Lorong Permai Timur, Kampung Bahagia Jaya Teku, Sibujaya, Batu ½ Jalan Oya, Jalan Hua Kiew, Ulu Sungai Merah, Taman Sanhill Barat, Jalan Oya Lama and Jalan Sentosa.
“All these areas are within a 10km radius of the two previously declared rabies-infected areas in Sibu,” he said in a statement.
Twenty-three people have died after they were bitten by rabid dogs since the rabies outbreak in Sarawak in 2017, reports the MalayMail.
A total of 64 areas in Sarawak have also been declared as rabies-infected areas since 2017.
Uggah warned dog owners that they must either confine their pets within an enclosed area or tie them up securely.
“The local authorities may seize and impound any dog which is not on a leash in accordance with the Local Authorities by-laws,” he said.
He said owners who let their pets roam freely on the streets are liable to a fine not exceeding RM2,500.
Unggah said all dogs in Sarawak must be vaccinated against rabies and any dog owner who fails to do so can be fined up to RM2,500.
He said the Department of Veterinary Services Sarawak (DVSS) has vaccinated 7,518 dogs this year and owners can bring their dogs to any DVSS offices to get their free anti-rabies vaccinations.
DVSS will also conduct mobile vaccinations at rural villages.