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LETTER | All must fight rabies together

LETTER | Now with two cases of rabies within 60km of each other, we clearly have rabies to deal with in Selangor. It is a very serious matter and should never be taken lightly.

The media reports that the Department of Veterinary Services is rounding up strays within a 10km radius from the suspected areas to see if the animals are carrying the disease, which is deadly to both dogs and humans, which is most reassuring to the general public. 

In order to confirm this, our veterinarians will have to literally get into the brains of animals to confirm infections, after they have been humanely euthanised.

In the meantime, pet owners should keep their dogs (and cats) strictly confined indoors. This is so that they are not accidentally caught and put down by the authorities.

Being in close contact with rabies-infected strays will also get them infected through bites and their saliva. Feeding strays is one of the main ways rabies can spread as the availability of food allows infected and non-infected animals to mingle.

Animal welfare NGOs in Selangor should take the lead role in saving these strays by putting them in homes in order to provide proper care and love. It practically seems like they have initiated a blackout on rabies when it ought to be the opposite response. 

Dogs and cats truly belong in loving homes with humans - not out in hostile streets

Some of their calls to hide strays in homes when they see the authorities coming during a rabies operation are extreme. They make the rabies infection containment process more difficult.

The authorities are playing a vital role in making sure Selangor is free from rabies. These NGOs should cooperate with authorities to educate their members, followers and the public at large about the dangers of rabies and how to avoid getting bitten by an infected dog or cat.

They should also provide information on the immediate actions to take if one gets bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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