IPOH, July 17 — The Perak government has gazetted the mukim (sub-district) of Matang in the Larut, Matang and Selama district, as a rabies or mad dog disease outbreak area, effective today.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir said the gazetting was made under the Rabies Outbreak Area Order, with the powers given to do so provided under Sub-section 39(1) of the Animals Act 1953 (Act 647).
“Although this is an isolated case, only one case involved, the order has to be made and measures such as containment be carried out to prevent the disease from spreading.”
Zambry said this after opening the State Secretaries’ Conference on actions taken pertaining to issues raised in the Auditor-General’s Report, here, today.
On July 4, two girls, aged 11 and 12, were bitten by an infected pet dog in Kuala Sepetang before it died eight days later.
Zambry said under the order, no one was allowed to take any dog out of the Matang area except with the written permission of the Perak Veterinary Services Department director, Dr Fuziah Muhayat.
He said a dog owner or anyone responsible for caring for the animal in a rabies-infected area must ensure that the dog be kept under tight control.
“It should be kept in an enclosed area where it is not possible for the dog to escape or it be tied securely.”
He said any dog not kept under effective control in a rabies-infected area could be destroyed by concerned parties given the power to do so through written permission from the state Veterinary Services Department director.
Zambry said besides destroying stray dogs, the department was also carrying out vaccination of dogs and taking samples for tests.
“The public must understand that this is not a rabies epidemic but the government needs to undertake prevention and control measures to ensure the disease does not spread.
“I urge that the residents (of Kuala Sepetang) give full cooperation to the measures taken by the government,” he added. — Bernama