Miri village declared rabies-infected area

KUCHING: Kampung Mohd Taha, Bakong, Beluru in Miri was declared as the 72nd rabies-infected area in the state today.

“Since this village is within the 10km radius of other surrounding infected areas, it is now the 72nd rabies infected area.

“Up to now, 72 areas in Sarawak have been declared as rabies infected since the outbreak in July 2017,” said SDMC chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in a statement today.

Based on the breakdown, Kuching has seven infected areas while Samarahan has four areas; Serian 22 areas; Betong and Sibu three areas each; Sarikei and Bintulu five areas each;  Kapit one area;  Mukah and Sri Aman six areas each, Miri eight areas and Limbang two areas.

Elaborating further, Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department had jabbed a total of 206,629 dogs thus far with the anti-rabies vaccine.

“The free vaccination programme is ongoing in the state..

“Dog owners should ensure that their pets get the anti-rabies vaccine on an annual basis at their nearest divisional veterinary offices.

“Failure of an owner to get his pet dog vaccinated will attract a fine of up to RM2,500. The dog might be seized and put under targetted removal under Section 40 of the Public Health (Veterinary) Ordinance 1999.

“Allowing dogs out in any infected area and thereby exposing them to the rabies virus under Section 37 of the ordinance will attract a fine of up to RM5,000 or jail penalty of up to three months or both upon conviction of the owner(s),” he explained.

Members of the public are advised to report dogs with symptoms of rabies by contacting the department at 082-628248 or 082-610023 (Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit) or 016-2557267 (Rabies WhatsApp/Message).