Dog owners barred from taking their pets out of three districts in Perak

IPOH: Dog owners are barred from bringing their pets out of the Larut, Matang and Selama districts due to an outbreak of rabies in these areas, says the Veterinary Services Department.

Its director Dr Ahmad Shafri Hassan said dog owners could only do so with the express permission of the Department as Taiping and Bukit Gantang were gazetted as rabies-infected areas.

He also advised owners to ensure that their dogs are not allowed to roam freely on the streets, and to keep them locked up in an enclosed area or tie them up safely.

"Dogs found roaming at the affected areas face the risk of being destroyed," he said.

Dr Ahmad said that dog owners could take their dogs out for walks, but cautioned against doing so unless the animals had been vaccinated against the disease.

"All puppies aged three and above in Taiping and Bukit Gantang must be sent to the department to be vaccinated as this will help control the spread of the disease," he said in a statement.

Dr Ahmad added that those who fail to follow the rules under the Animal Act 1953 could be fined not more than RM5,000 or jailed not more than three months.

"I hope the people will cooperate to ensure that their pet dogs are vaccinated, as this disease can spread from animals to humans if bitten," he said.

Dr Ahmad said so far, four positive cases have been identified in Taiping, one from a dog that bit its owner and three others from strays in the area.

On Jan 14, the department's director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said that the areas were gazetted as rabies-infected areas following a report on Dec 31, 2018, when two family members at Taman Sri Kota Phase 2 in Taiping were bitten by their pet.

He said the two family members were bitten five days prior to lodging the report.