Together, we can make Sarawak rabies-free again, says SSPCA

In conjunction with World Rabies Day on 28 September, the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (SSPCA) is calling on all the people of Sarawak to join in, and support, the efforts underway to address the rabies outbreak, so we can make Sarawak rabies-free again.

The SSPCA has been working closely with the state government to educate people in the affected areas on bite management and to inform the general public about the procedures to take if they are bitten by a dog. We are also working on awareness education focused on the source of rabies and the rabies virus transmission route to reduce public concern.

The good news is that the eradication of dog-transmitted human rabies is possible. The mass vaccination of dogs has been accepted by the international community as the most cost-effective means of eliminating rabies.

The SSPCA is committed to work with our government partners to conduct a survey of the dog populations in the affected areas in Sarawak to achieve the 70% target of dogs and cats rabies-vaccinated.

Unfortunately, we have seen and continue to see the indiscriminate culling of dogs by some local councils; often using catching methods that are cruel as defined in the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance, 1999. The SSPCA condemns these cruel practices and calls on the relevant authorities to put a stop to these actions immediately. The SSPCA will be conducting another Humane Dog Capture workshop with the Ministry of Local Councils in order to educate the dog catching teams on humane capture methods.

Pet owners are reminded that under Sarawak Council by Laws no dogs are allowed to roam the streets freely. All pets should be kept within your own house compound. If you wish to take your pet for a walk then it must done with the dog on a leash. Pets should be vaccinated against rabies annually in order to maintain the level of rabies anti bodies and to ensure that there would not be any chance of your pet contracting the disease.

We are calling on the people of Sarawak to assist with and support the efforts currently underway and the actions planned for the future to eradicate rabies in Sarawak. Together, We Can End Rabies For Good.