Authorities on Nusa Penida killed more than 1,000 stray dogs in two days this week after the island’s first rabies death, a man from Batu Kandik village, who died in Sanglah Hospital a week 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 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.
The invariably fatal disease has killed 118 people since the outbreak was identified in the southern Bukit region of Bali in late 2008.