MP proposes microchip implants to contain Sarawak rabies outbreak

Sulok Tawie
Yii said since the outbreak last year, 13 people have died of rabies. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUCHING, Sept 4 ― Bandar Kuching Member of Parliament Kelvin Yii today urged the state government to initiate a Bill in the State Legislative Assembly to monitor dog ownership through pet microchip implants to contain the current rabies outbreak in Sarawak.

 He said the issue of proper disease and rabies outbreak control is a matter of public importance and also an active issue on the ground affecting the lives of the people and the children.

“I believe the members of the State Assembly including those from the Opposition Bench will be fully supportive of this and will show their support if it is needed to contain the outbreak and stop any more lives to be affected,” he told Malay Mail.

He said since the outbreak last year, 13 people have died of rabies, including a five-year old boy from Mile 6 Penrissen Road as the latest victim.

He said the microchip is a radio frequency implant that provides permanent identification for pets.

“This is to properly identify the pet owners so that we can hold them accountable and or pet dumping contributing to the increase of stray dogs.

“This is important because, no matter the decision made by the state government to control the population of strays, the issue will repeat itself if irresponsible owners continue to dump their dogs,” he said.

Yii said it is important to address the core issue of irresponsible owners on top of any act of population control that will take place.

He added the local council should further enforce dog licensing on top of the required licensing, so better control can be had in the event of an outbreak.

Yii suggested important elements of the Federal Animal Welfare Act 2015 should also be incorporated into the state laws including the State Cruelty to Animals (Prevention) Ordinance 1963, especially those aimed at fostering more responsible pet ownership.

“These provisions and other provisions in the Act is also important are important to make sure no inhumane treatment of dogs or animals even during the event of a disease outbreak,” he said.

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