State mulls special ops to remove stray dogs

An anti-rabies vaccination programme was put in place in Sarawak to prevent the further spread of the disease. - Filepic

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee has proposed a special operation to remove stray dogs in public places statewide following a recent incident where stray dogs bit seven people at the Reservoir Park here.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas, who is chairman of the committee, said one of four dogs trapped at the park tested positive for rabies.

One of the seven people is a five-year-old boy from Rh Adeng Semuah in Engkilili, he said after chairing a meeting of the committee here.

“This is really shocking to us as our previous anti-rabies operation had included the place. Obviously, the stray dogs are still there,” he said.

Uggah said the committee made the proposal for the removal of the stray dogs in addition to the current fifth phase anti-rabies operation to be carried out in the Sri Aman, Lubok Antu and Betong districts from July 31 to Aug 3.

“I would like the police to identify more such public places, not only in Kuching but other big towns, for our action,” he said, adding that the public could also assist by giving the information.

Uggah wanted the police, Sarawak Veterinary Services Department and local councils to look at the by-laws to see if any action could be taken against those found feeding stray dogs in such places.

“We are not against such a noble deed but, now with the outbreak, we should stop feeding them otherwise our operation will be compromised,” he said.

Uggah said anyone who had been bitten, not only by dogs but by cats or monkeys, should wash the bite wound under running water for at least 10 minutes or more.

Then they should go at once to the hospital where they would be referred to the Post Dog Bites Clinic for further treatment, he said.

“After office hours, the advice is to approach the Emergency Unit of the hospital and the officer on duty there will know what to do,” he said.

Sarawak has recorded 19 rabies cases, 18 of them fatal, since the outbreak on July 1, 2017. – Bernama

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