Health Expert Calls for Dog-Free Zones
DENPASAR ~ Chief of the Indonesian Veterinarian Laboratory Association Dr. A.A. Gde Putra called this week for the establishment of dog-free zones in areas with local populations of monkeys.
According to Dr. Putra, four of an estimated 44 monkey colonies in Bali can be found in South Kuta, where the majority of recent rabies cases have occurred.
Dr. Putra said it was time the government took precautions against the spread of the virus to monkey colonies, especially those where tourists came into close contact with the animals, such as Uluwatu Temple and Sangeh Monkey Forest.
He said to avoid the possible spread of rabies to humans from monkey scratches or bites, which are not infrequent, a 500-meter radius around all monkey colonies should be declared dog-free zones.
He proposed the zones would be guarded by security officials who would immediately destroy any dog found within the areas.
He also said all dogs in areas surrounding the proposed dog-free zones would have to be vaccinated against rabies as an added precaution.
At least four people in southern areas of Bali have died from the rabies virus since the end of last year, amid government efforts to contain the outbreak that are largely focused on culling stray dogs and vaccination programs.Filed under: Headlines