“Vaccinating your pets such as cats and dogs is the best way to prevent rabies in people. It is cost-effective and stops the spread, but it also helps in protecting you and your community,” he said at a rabies symposium hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim at the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations Congress 2023.
Dog vaccination is mandatory under Section 40 of the Veterinary Public Health Ordinance 1999, and any owner or person in charge of a dog who fails to comply could be fined up to RM1,000.
Additionally, anti-rabies vaccinations have been made compulsory for dogs in the buffer zones of Sarawak and Sabah, serving as a preventive measure against rabies. However, in other states, these vaccinations remain optional.
These parts below are specifically for the eyes and hearts of our authorities and politicians:
“There is evidence that mass, indiscriminate killing of dogs is not effective in controlling the transmission of rabies. In fact, it can worsen the issue as vaccinated animals may be inadvertently culled, reducing the herd immunity in the population,” he said.
Scott added that dog rabies elimination was possible, and could be done with the right support, political will, and ongoing government commitment.
Dr Jerlyn K Sponseller of Boehringer Ingelheim said eliminating rabies required government support and involvement at the highest level.
“While we are actively engaged in community and grassroots efforts, it is paramount to raise awareness at a higher level.
“Working with the highest levels of government would significantly reduce and eventually eliminate rabies in humans,” she said.
So, please, for goodness’ sake, stop the culling and start vaccinating to create the herd immunity for protection against rabies. It needs some work. Don’t take the ineffective, “convenient” way out by killing. It doesn’t work, anyway. Emulate Sarawak – the government is vaccinating the dogs at the buffer zones.
Vaccinating to create the herd immunity is the way to go