The Jakarta Post reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has ordered the provincial animal husbandry department follow regulations set forth in the 2009 rabies prevention regulations and cull all stray dogs.
“If any stray dogs are found, feel free to eliminate them. It has been stipulated in the bylaw that dog owners have to confine their pets at home,” Pastika declared.
Blaming stray “ownerless” dogs for the continuing threat of rabies in Bali, Pastika added: “It is more dangerous if we let the stray dogs roam.” There is no need to catch them, put them in a shelter or something. Just cull them. It is the dog owners’ fault for letting their dogs stray.”
Despite protests from animal rights groups in Bali who brand culling as both cruel and ineffective as opposed to a program of comprehensive vaccination, Governor Pastika is insistent that the 2009 law requiring owners to keep their pets at home and have them under regular vaccination be applied without compromise. Dog owners who fail to obey the law can be fined up to Rp. 50 million (US$4,100) and be imprisoned for 6 months.
Pastika has asked the police to assist in culling stray dogs.
Rabies emerged as a health threat in 2008 and has been linked to 128 human deaths.
Since 2008, the Province has spent Rp.25.5 billion in vaccine and rabies control programs (US$2 million).
Despite these efforts by the province, new cases of rabies are still being recorded among Bali’s canine and human population.
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