SIBU: Lanang MP Alice Lau said MPs from both Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Pakatan Harapan need to come together on the rabies issue.
“Both Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang and Pelawan assemblyman David Wong have proposed that assemblymen from both sides meet over the issue.
“I think Sarawak MPs need to discuss the issue too,” she said.
Alice added elected representatives from both sides need to set aside their differences and join hands to fight the outbreak.
“During the Parliamentary sitting in July, both Sibu MP Oscar Ling and I raised the matter in Parliament.
“Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii moved a motion for it to be debated in Parliament.”
Lau proposed that a special meeting be convened before the October Parliamentary sitting, so that all MPs from the state could attend.
On the severity of the disease, she said 620 samples were taken in August from suspected animals in 33 villagers in Serian, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Samarahan and Kuching.
Of the number, 177 tested positive for rabies.
From July 4, 2017, to Aug 12 this year, a total of 80,559 animals, comprising 69,665 dogs and 10,894 cats were tested.
“A total of 72,084 animals were vaccinated against the disease while 8,335 dogs and 168 cats were killed,” she said.
“I urge dog owners to vaccinate their animals and keep them indoors to contain the spread of the disease,” said Lau.
Rabies had so far claimed 12 lives in Sarawak since an epidemic was declared on June 30 last year. The latest fatality was a 44-year-old man who succumbed to the disease on Aug 22.
The rabies outbreak has spread to more parts of Sarawak with five new areas.
The new areas were Jalan Teng Chin Hua in Sibu, Jalan Kilang in Bintangor, Jalan Airport Lama in Kapit, and Piasau Jaya and Lutong Shell in Miri.
This brings rabies-positive localities in Sarawak to 41, said the Sarawak Disaster Management Commiteee in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Veterinary Services Department (DVS) will discuss with the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to curb the spread of rabies in Sarawak.
“Nadma’s help is needed to increase resources to curb the spread of rabies,” DVS director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said after launching World Rabies Day in Alor Setar, Kedah.