Minister: Sarawak govt may impose stricter laws for dog owners to fight rabies outbreak
KUCHING, May 12 — Food Industry, Commodities and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Stephen Rundie Utom today warned that the state government may impose stricter measures against dog owners if they fail to jab their dogs with anti-rabies vaccines.
He said the owners must also ensure that their pets are licensed.
“If we need to impose strict laws and issue compound as well, we may have to do it against dog owners,” he told reporters after witnessing the swearing ceremony for eight political secretaries to the Sarawak premier.
He said since the beginning of this year nine people have died compared to 12 for the whole of last year after they have been bitten by rabid dogs.
He said the people need to take precautions against the rabies epidemic in the state.
“So my advice to the public is to cooperate fully, especially those who have dogs, and make sure their pets have the correct licence and vaccinations.
“The government and authorities need cooperation from animal lovers and also dog owners.
“In addition, stray dogs that have red eyes and are aggressive, please stay away from them and if bitten, please go get treatment immediately because it can be prevented,” he said.
He also expressed his appreciation to the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department for their commitment in dealing with the rabies outbreak.