Rabies Vaccinations Distributed by Govt

DENPASAR ~ Some 1,800 doses of an anti-rabies vaccine are to be distributed to 12 banjars in an attempt to prevent any further spread of the deadly virus, an official said this week.

Regent of Badung A.A. Gde Agung and head of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Marine Life, Made Badra, said they hoped the program would be successful, but needed the full support of the public.

“The vaccinations are step one in anticipating the spread of rabies in Bali,” Agung said.

They said they hoped for large numbers of dog owners to bring their dogs for the free vaccine.

Gde Agung said there was still an operation underway to cull stray dogs, but said dog owners should not worry, as they were being selective about the dogs culled.

According to the regent, Badung regency has allocated Rp732 million (US$65,500) to prevent the spread of rabies, Rp255 million for vaccinations for humans and Rp477 million for dogs.

At least four people have been confirmed as dying from rabies in recent months, following bites from rabid dogs.

Meanwhile, because of the fear of rabies, a resident of Singaraja who was bitten by a dog reported to the Animal Husbandry Department this week.

The unnamed victim said he was bitten two weeks ago, and had been worrying about the risk of rabies ever since.

On Wednesday, head of animal health for Buleleng Dr. Wayan Carik said after the man reported the bite, they tested the victim and also the dog, but neither were infected with rabies.

However, Carik said the dog would still be put down, so people would not worry if they were bitten.

Carik said residents of Buleleng were worried about the risk of rabies, but the regency’s government had minimal funds to prepare for a possible outbreak.

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