Malaysia: Border post security tightened to check animal smuggling

The Star 27 Jul 17;

KUCHING: The army has tightened security at its border post in Serikin, Bau, to ensure no animals are smuggled between Sarawak and West Kalimantan.

This comes after Kampung Serikin, located some 80km from Kuching, was declared a rabies-infected area on Tuesday, said First Malaysian Infantry Division commander Maj Gen Datuk Stephen Mundaw.

“We have increased checks and patrols along the border to curb smuggling and other illegal activities.

“We are also keeping an eye on those carrying animals across the border,” he said in a statement.

During the division’s 51st anniversary celebration at Muara Tuang camp on July 14, Mundaw said soldiers stationed along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border have been instructed to prevent stray dogs from entering the state since the rabies outbreak.

Kampung Serikin and the Sungai Maong wet markets were the latest areas to be declared rabies-infected, bringing the total number of affected areas in the state to 22.

Pet owners who could not make it to the Veterinary Services Depart-ment’s free dog vaccination campaigns may have to wait until August for new vaccine stocks to arrive.

Vets around town have also run of stock.

“People have been calling non-stop to ask about the vaccines but we ran out of stock on July 19,” said an employee at a veterinary centre at Rock Road here.

The price to vaccinate cats and dogs in Kuching range from RM55 to RM65.

In Ipoh, 20 samples taken from dog carcasses in Kuala Sepetang came back negative for rabies.

Perak executive council member Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who chairs a special task force on rabies, said that of the 22 samples taken between July 13 and 26, only one tested positive – the two-year-old dog that bit two girls earlier this month.

“There’s one more sample still pending further tests,” he said in a statement.

Surveillance and vaccination efforts are still ongoing in Kuala Sepetang within a 10km radius from the place where the two girls were bitten.

Some 127 dogs and 239 cats have been vaccinated while 88 stray dogs have been culled.

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