Rabies-Hit Penida Mounts Mass Dog Cull


Authorities on Nusa Penida killed more than 1,000 stray dogs in two days after the island’s first rabies deaths including a man from Batu Kandik village, who died in Sanglah Hospital three weeks ago.

Klungkung regency animal husbandry chief Gusti Ngurah Badiwangsa said the mass cull was necessary because Nusa Penida – part of Klungkung – was overrun with wild dogs, many of which lived in remote hill country, inaccessible bushland and caves.

“It takes a long time to eradicate these wild dogs,” he said.

Badiwangsa said the cull on Wednesday and Thursday (January 12 and 13) involved 20 animal husbandry officials from Semarapura, six provincial government officers, village leaders, village guards and local people.

It targeted nearly all the 16 villages on Nusa Penida. “The most intensive part of the operation was in four villages where rabies is a direct threat, Batu Kandik, Bunga Mekar, Sakti and Batu Madeg,” he said.

Rabies is believed to have reached Nusa Penida either through dogs brought from mainland Bali where the disease is now widespread and endemic or through a Nusa Penida dog taken on a trip to Bali and returning with the fatal virus.

A Denpasar man died of rabies last week. He was from Tanjung Buntak Satu in East Denpasar, off Jl Hyam Wuruk. He had been bitten by a neighbour’s dog four months before he became ill but had not sought post-exposure vaccination.

Bali’s rabies death toll now stands at 121 on one set of figures but the health office is still saying 118.

A leading provincial legislator has accused the central government of being heartless in holding up funds it allocated to buy vaccine.

Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana, vice chairman of Commission IV in the provincial House of Representatives, said last year’s allocation of Rp15 billion (US1.65 million) had only arrived at the end of November.

“Their commitment must be to up-front funding,” he said.

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