AVA contributes 25,000 doses of vaccine to help Malaysia fight rabies

Dogs being taken for anti-rabies jabs at the Kota Sentosa Basketball Stadium in Kuching, Sarawak.
Dogs being taken for anti-rabies jabs at the Kota Sentosa Basketball Stadium in Kuching, Sarawak.PHOTO: THE STAR PUBLICATION

SINGAPORE -The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore has contributed 25,000 doses of rabies vaccine to Malaysia following a rabies outbreak in Sarawak and Perak, the AVA said on Monday (Aug 7).

It has also put in place precautionary measures to prevent its spread to Singapore.

In the press release issued on Monday, the authority said that AVA and the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia (DVS) conduct regular bilateral meetings on dealing with transboundary animal diseases such as rabies and bird flu.

"Singapore has been free from rabies for more than 60 years, but it remains a constant threat as it is endemic in the region... It is important that we collaborate closely with our neighbours in the fight against such diseases," said Dr Yap Him Hoo, AVA's director-general.

On July 23, a statement by the Sarawak state disaster management committee said there were a total of 20 rabies-affected areas in Sarawak.

To prevent its spread, the AVA has imposed "stringent regulation" on animal import, including mandatory health checks for imported animals and their quarantine when necessary.


It also works closely with border control agencies to maintain vigilance against animal smuggling and in seeking deterrent sentences.

It urged members of the public to play their part, by obtaining pets from reputable and legal sources, and by making sure the relevant import permits and health certificates are secured when importing an animal from overseas.

Pet dogs should also be licensed and microchipped so they can be traced.

The AVA has issued an advisory to stakeholders - such as pet shops and animal welfare groups - to keep them alert about rabies, and to make known the procedures for the reporting of suspected smuggling cases.