Last Update: 18 Feb 2019
Version 8.0.4b
Eradicating rabies responsibility of all — Lee
Posted on : 02 Oct 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post

(Seated from left) Dr Sylmie, Yii, Ting, Lee, Sherrina, Dr Cheong, Nyurak and Kho after the meeting yesterday.

MIRI: The war against rabies is not the responsibility of the government alone but needs the support and cooperation from the public to be successful.

Based on hospital reports, there has been no reports of the disease affecting humans, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin said, but cautioned that drastic preventive measures must be taken.

“We are not taking any chances and we do not want to see any case of human affected by rabies. Thus, we are taking the immediate steps and cooperation by the public is vital in fighting against rabies.

“There will be mass vaccination every weekend starting this Saturday at three places simultaneously; namely Lutong basketball court, Bulatan Park Piasau Jaya and Taman Awam near Riam, from 9am to 4pm while on the weekdays (Mondays to Fridays), vaccination of the dogs will be done free of charge at the Veterinary Department from 8.30am to 4.30pm,” he said.

He said pet owners can call the Veterinary Department at 085-411866 for further information or Miri City Council (MCC) hotline or WhatsApp at 019-8960370 (24 hours) or during office hours at 082-424111.

Speaking to the media after the Miri Disaster Management Committee meeting here yesterday, Lee said any one bitten by a dog must first administer First Aid and those who went to private hospital or clinic must also go to the government hospital.

He also reminded private doctors to report all dog bite cases that they have treated to the hospital.

Delving further, Lee revealed that 387 dogs and 141 cat bite cases had been reported in Miri Division from January to September this year.

He stressed that the public must report any bite cases immediately to the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department or the nearest hospital and clinic.

He also reminded that pet owners must confine and control their pets well so that they are not exposed to stray animals, and bring their dogs and cats for vaccination against rabies annually and conduct sterilisation of their dogs and cats to limit their population and prevent infection.

“The dog catching team will consist of MCC, the veterinary department, the police and Zero Strays. I also want to urge the public to report to us with relevant proof if they see anyone dumping dogs or puppies because this is the reason for stray dogs and these people can be charged,” he said.

Divisional veterinary officer Dr Sylmie Al-Harir explained that failure to vaccinate dogs with anti-rabies vaccine is an offence under Section 40 of Veterinary Public Health Ordinance, 1999, which carries a fine of RM2,500.

Furthermore, she said owners of dogs roaming in rabies-infected areas are also liable to be fined up to RM5,000 or three months’ jail or both upon conviction under Section 37(2) & (3) of Veterinary Public Health Ordinance, 1999.

Meanwhile, head of Public Health, Ministry of Local Government and Housing Dr Cheong Yaw Liang said members of the public can get further information on rabies from Sarawak Disaster Information Facebook page.

“We have a dedicated team behind this page and everyone can get information about rabies and what is happening at other places in the state.

“The information on this page can be shared with others as one of our efforts to create public awareness and it is available in English, Malay and Chinese language,” he said.

Also present yesterday were Miri mayor Adam Yii, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini, deputy Resident Nyurak Keti, Miri health officer Dr Veronica Lugah, Zero Strays Miri president Sterwina Kho and other government officers.