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(9/15/2013) Radar Bali (Jawa Post) reports that a joint team from the Livestock Services of Bali (Disnak-Bali) and Gianyar (Disnak-Gianyar) visited the clinic of the Bali Animal Welfare Association Foundation (BAWA) on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
According to the subject press report, the government inspectors said that almost of all the dogs found at the clinic had not been inoculated for rabies.
The surprise visit by the animal health officials was precipitated when inspectors encountered 13 animals at the private residence of Janice Gilardi, Founder & Executive Director of BAWA, near Tampaksiring that officials claim were unvaccinated.
The suggestion that animals at the clinic or Gilardi’s residence might be lacking rabies inoculation seems oddly incongruous with BAWA's active lead in vaccination programs across Bali.
The Bali animal health officials said the reason given for the animals found at Gilardi’s home being not vaccinated against rabies was that the animals had their own veterinarian.
The team of animal health officials then diverted to the BAWA office in Ubud. Led by the head of the Animal Health Department for Bali (Keswan), Ketut Gde Nata Kesuma, the team reportedly discovered that a number of irregularities in the building and operating permits, lack of proper permits for the veterinarian working with the clinic.
Nata Kesuma told the press: “Until now the activities of BAWA have left the impression of being secretive. Until now I have never been able to meet with the head of the foundation. Now all the facts are out.”
The Radar Bali article said that when officials checked 87 local dogs of various ages at the BAWA Clinic “almost all” were unvaccinated. According to the press article, the reason given to officials was that the animals were too young.
The officials claim the dogs are released to new adopted owners without vaccination. Kadek Saka, a veterinarian at the clinic, was reported in the article as telling the press that this job of vaccination would be handled by the new owners.
According to the Radar Bali, the animal health team was unable to meet with Janice Giraldi who was away in Hong Kong. Another director of BAWA, Meilianti, was also unable to meet with officials.
Nata Kesuma questioned how the clinic was disposing of animal waste. An official of the clinic said the wastes were brought to a hospital in Denpasar where they were burnt.
Nata Kesuma also alleged that 17 veterinarians were working at the clinic without the mandatory license.
While Janice Giraldi is out of Bali at the moment, BAWA has issued the following response at Balidiscovery.com’s invitation:
"Sadly it seems the recently published articles in the Radar Bali are more slanderous than truthful and BAWA would like to clarify the facts."
"1. Since 2009, BAWA Bali has been working with the government and a number of districts to help respond to the rabies virus. The government provides rabies vaccines for BAWA vets and on many occasions has requested our help to run joint vaccination programs, especially with catching the outside dogs as BAWA has the required expertise to assist in these situations."
"BAWA had an MOU with the Government to train local Dinas in this technique so they could be self-sufficient. When the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) took the program over from BAWA (in accordance with our MOU with the Governor) the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were the same as BAWA had written. Within the SOP’s there is a clear euthanasia and vaccination policy that all agreed was the best way to eradicate rabies."
"2. We refute the statement in the article that says that dogs are never vaccinated at BAWA clinic prior to being adopted. All dogs given to adopters are always rabies vaccinated according to our original SOP and according to law. We were the original proponents of rabies vaccination on the island. We would hope that the pet markets, breeders and pet shops would also comply with this rule."
"3. We also disagree with the statement that Janice Girardi’s pet dogs are not vaccinated. This is not true. All of her dogs always get an annual vaccination and this can be evidenced in the form of the vaccination books that shows the vaccine history of each animal and the date of the last vaccination, being February, 2013. We can supply a copy of the booklets if desired."
"Janice was the first person in Bali to help procure rabies vaccines and was the driving force for the rabies program island wide with many articles and even books internationally written on the subject."
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