KUCHING: Rabies remains a cause for concern in Sarawak with eight out of 20 samples received in the first week of this month by the state Veterinary Services Department (DVS) tested positive.

The positive samples were collected from Kampung Ranchan in Serian; Kampung Sumpas in Balai Ringin and Bayang Estate off Lorong Wan Alwi, Block 3, Jalan Muhibbah; Halaman Kim San, Jalan Bamdfyide; Lorong Bowood 2A1, Taman Bowood; Jalan Chawan and Jalan Semeba, Batu 5, Jalan Penrissen here.

“All positive cases are within 10km radius of rabies infected areas,” said DVS Sarawak director Dr Adrian Susin Ambud in a press statement yesterday.

In view of the situation, he said the department would continue to conduct rabies eradication programmes including mass vaccination, awareness campaign, surveillance and monitoring of the disease situation in Sarawak.

He said most of the recent positive cases were never vaccinated against rabies.

He therefore urged the public to vaccinate all their dogs against rabies in order to protect their pet and family.

Vaccination is compulsory for dogs in order to eradicate the disease.

He disclosed that to date, a total of 119,873 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies since 2017.

It is an offence under Section 40, Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, if pet owners did not vaccinate their dog.

Any owner or person in charge of a dog who fails without reasonable cause to comply with any order or direction made or given under subsection (1) or (3) of the Ordinance shall be guilty of an offence. The penalty is a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred ringgit.

“We appeal to the public to cooperate and ensure that their dogs are vaccinated.”

Dr Adrian said door-to-door vaccination campaign would be conducted during phase 4 of rabies operation in Serian and Simunjan from tomorrow until June 25.

For those who are unable to send their dog for vaccination during the operation, you can bring it to the nearest Divisional Veterinary Office during office hours.

To date, the state recorded 19 rabies-infected cases with 18 deaths.