File photo of stray dogs.
SIBU (May 12): A total of 235 dog bite cases were recorded in 31 locations under Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) jurisdiction from January until now.
However, according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Health, no rabies cases have been reported from these areas so far, SMC chairman Clarence Ting said.
The locations that recorded double digit bite cases were Jalan Ulu Sungai Merah with 28 cases, Jalan Rejang Park (22), Jalan Tong Sang (19), Jalan Permai (14), Farley Supermarket area (13), Jalan Tiong Hua (12), Jalan Sukun/Jalan Lada (12) and Jalan Indah/Jalan Aup (10).
Nine cases each were recorded at Jalan Diong Kik and Jalan Pedada, eight at Jalan Ding Lik Kwong, eight at Jalan Bukit Lima, seven at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, seven at Jalan Mantis and six cases each recorded at Jalan Damai, Jalan Wong King Huo and Jalan Pulau Li Hua.
Other locations with bite cases were Jalan Poh Yew (four), Central Business District area (two), Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg (two), Jalan Awang Ramli Amit (three), Jalan Kampung Dato (two), Jalan Delta (three), Jalan Sungai Antu (one), Jalan Sentosa (five), Jalan Kwong Ann (one), Jalan Apollo/Deshon (one), Jalan Bahagia Jaya (two), Jalan Jeriah (five), Jalan Teku (five) and Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce (three).
“A lot of people called the council to complain about stray dogs in their area. These are not stray dogs because they have owners but their owners let them out.
“So we want to tell dog owners if they want to release their dogs outside their compound, please use dog leash.
“After Covid-19, they should understand about infectious diseases. If their pets roam freely and mix with rabid dogs, they will get infected and when these dogs come back, they will bite their owners.
“That is why they should not release their dogs outside their compound. We are no longer living in the kampung but we are living in an urban area,” he said at a press conference at his office in Wisma Sanyan here yesterday.
Ting reminded dog owners that only three dogs were allowed per landed property or one small breed dog for flat and apartment properties under the Local Authorities (Dog Licensing and Control) by-laws 2018.
He also said dog catching is not an easy task for the council.
“The council cannot help to catch stray dogs all the time because some are very difficult to catch.
“Furthermore, SMC has only five dog catchers divided into two teams and the Sibu area is so big.
“The dogs are mobile. So by the time the dog catchers arrived, they are already gone,” he said.
Ting also urged dog owners to vaccinate their pets and themselves as precautions.
“If you want total safety in this rabies time, if you have a dog at home, get yourself vaccinated.
“My family spent almost RM10,000 for a rabies vaccination priced at RM300 per person at a private clinic.
“Each person required three doses which must be completed within three months.
“It is a big responsibility and please be a responsible pet owner because we do not know who will get infected by rabies,” he said.