Lo speaks to reporters. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang has urged dog owners to neuter their pets in order to prevent the spread of rabies in Sarawak,

Citing State Health Department’s statistics of rabies in 2019 alone, he said there were 5,987 cases of dogs biting people within the Padawan Municipal Council areas.

“And fortunately, out of these, only four rabies cases were reported.

“From December 29 last year to July 4 this year, there were 1,367 cases of dog bites but no rabies cases,” he said when met by reporters at the MPP office here in Kota Padawan on Tuesday morning (July 7).

Stressing that neutering was the best way to control the dog population, the Batu Kitang assemblyman added that the number of canines had multiplied over a period of six months this year.

“Last year, MPP received 479 complaints about dog bites and caught a total of 963 stray dogs.

“In the span of six months this year (from January to June), we received 189 complaints and 394 stray dogs were caught,” he added.

Lo pointed out that vaccinating the dogs with anti-rabies shots was important to prevent the spread of the viral disease.

“Although the virus is currently under control, the problem now is the population of stray dogs due to the state’s vast areas such as forests and empty land. These stray dogs are capable of breeding and expand their population,” he said.

Lo said the MPP would carry out its integrated operation to catch stray dogs from July 7 to 8.

“We will work with Kota Samarahan Municipal Council, State Veterinary Services Department and the police.

“The first day of the operation will be held in Kuching City Mall, Desa Wira, MJC Batu Kawa, Batu Kawa Old Bazaar, Moyan Square, Taman Moyan and Taman Genesis.

“On the second day, we will be at the flat at Taman Seri Makmur, Taman Kopodims, Taman Matang Jaya, Lee Ling Commercial Centre and Taman Lee Ling,” he added.