Approximately 48,900 dogs have been exterminated in Bali's northernmost region of Buleleng in efforts to curb the current outbreak of rabies.
Beritabali.com says that the mass extermination program was carried out by the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Department and local citizen groups in the Buleleng regency in order to eliminate stray dogs blamed with spreading the disease and the mounting human death toll.
I Putu Mertha Jiwa the head of the Agriculture and Animal Husbandry office in Buleleng said the the extermination program had eliminated 43,000 dogs in Buleleng in 2009, and another 48,900 dogs in 2010, but there still remains an estimated dog population of 48,800 dogs in the region.
In 2011, the government has changed tactics switching from extermination to vaccination of the local canine populations. Explained Mertha,: "This year the program going forward is the vaccination of dogs carried out on a door-to-door basis. This is an approach that is proving very effective."
In a further step to reduce the incidence of rabies, good anti-rabies practice is being socialized to local residents encouraging people to confine their pets and provide them with routine immunization. In some of Bali's traditional villages, new community rules addressing free-roaming dog populations have been introduced into traditional codes.
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