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As Part of Continuing Anti-Rabies Drive, Bali to Create an Inventory of Owned and Stray Dogs.
The National News Agency Antara reports that Bali will soon undertake a dog census to determine the population of pet dogs owned by island residents. According to the Head of Bali's Animal Husbandry Department, Ida Bagus Alit, "the survey will at the same time reveal the identity of owners responsible for those pets. "Alit also indicated that the census will get underway in the near future followed by the expected promulgation of a new provincial regulation on the control of rabies now being discussed by Bali's House of Representatives. "The census of dogs and the new provincial rules on rabies control will hopefully make it easier for officials to get the upper hand on stray dogs walking the streets of Bali without an owner," explained Alit. Data available from officials in Bali indicate a population of 408,673 dogs in the province, a figure that does not include the 26,680 dogs recently eliminated by authorities trying to control the spread of rabies in Bali. Authorities calculate that 32% of Bali's dog population have been inoculated against rabies. Meanwhile, the WHO estimates that 70% of all dogs in any given population must be inoculated in order to halt the spread of the deadly disease. Officials complain that efforts to increase the total number of immunized dogs is complicated by a lack of public understanding, particularly among pet owners. The planned census is intended to help health authorities identify owned pets in need of inoculation and stray dogs destined for elimination. Local regulation require dog owners to either cage or chain their pets. Those same regulations require that captive pets be adequate given food and health care commensurate to prevent the spread of rabies. Alit added, "the drive to bring rabies under control includes the establishment of anti-rabies vaccination posts in every city and regency of Bali."
One Hundred Days and Counting
Indonesian Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik Plots a Course for His First 100 Days of His Second Term.
Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, has revealed 11 key program for his department during the first 100 days of his second term as a cabinet minister. Bisnis.com reports that Wacik is in the process of finalizing a strategic plan for the Department of Culture and Tourism covering the 2009-2014 in coordination with various related branches of the Indonesian government, including the National Planning Board (Bappenas) and the Office of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy (Menko Perekonomian). Wacik recently told Commission X of the House of Representatives (DPR): "We will take until December 31, 2009 to finalize our strategy. We are finalizing details with Bappenas and the Minister of Finance." The Minister also said that a coordinated agency for the management of world heritage and national heritage sites is in the process of being established. "From November 3-6 there was a an international meeting on Borobudur and Prambanan as World Heritage Sites," explained Wacik. The Culture and Tourism is in the process of creating an inventory of national and regional culture involving the Departments of Education, Law and Human Rights, Interior and Commerce. In this connection, the Department of Culture and Tourism has engaged 75 historians to prepare a book on Indonesian history and prepare for a meeting with President Yudhoyono set for January 2010. Other programs include the development of a complex commemorating Indonesia's revolutionary hero General Soedirman that will include dioramas and base relief's documenting the national struggle for independence. Wacik is also finalizing plans for Festival Film Indonesia (FFI) that the Minister hopes will promote the development of a national film industry. Wacik proudly cites how when he assume office five years ago the number of film produced in the preceding 12 years could be counted on one's fingers, a situation which has improved immensely with 90 national film production scheduled for completion in 2010. There is also a Festival Musik Sasondo scheduled to be held on Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) in December. The Sasondo is a musical harp found in the NTT region of Indonesia made from the leaves of the lontar palm. This is just part of a series of traditional music festivals planned across the entire nation. Said Wacik: "We wish to find those cultural threads that can be celebrated via festivals that will provide a symbol that will unite the nation." Among the most prominent programs contained in Wacik's first 100 days of his second ministerial term is a commitment to create additional "tourism village" that will serve as tourism objects and sources of employment for local populations. "The program began in 2008 with just 10 villages has now expanded to become 104 village. Next year we will develop 200 tourism villages across the entire nation," explained Wacik. A program to certify 4,000 workers in the hotel and restaurant field is now underway in cooperation with the national tourism industry and the National Certification Agency. The Department of Culture and Tourism has targeted 6.4 million foreign visitors and 2227 million domestic tourists for 2010, both programs supported by a marketing program now being finalized by Wacik's department. Cautioned Wacik: "The target of 6.4 million for 2010 is the same as the previous year, but will be challenging to achieve given the continuing effects of the worldwide financial crisis on international tourism."
The Buying and Selling of Names of Tourists in Bali
Hotel and Villa Guests in Bali Being Targeted by International Scam to Sell Time Share Properties.
Beritabali.com reports a new modus operandi being employed in the annoyance and attempts to sell time-share deals to Bali visitors. The report also suggests that immigration officials at Bali's airport may be involved in this latest incident of "organized crime." Police are now investigating the criminality following a report made by the Bali Villa Association (BVA) in a meeting with Bali's Chief of Police General Sutisna. The alleged crime involves mysterious telephone calls made to hotels in which the caller knows the name of the hotel guest. Once connected to the guest, the mystery caller offers prizes and other enticements as a means to offer questionable property deals. "The callers to the hotel ask to be connected to the guest. What's strange, they know both the name of the guest and his hotel," said Kahar Salamun, General Manager, Hotel All Seasons in Kuta. Kahar suspects that the callers has a well-developed plan of criminality involving numerous individuals in the act. When he investigated these calls in the past, he uncovered indications that the identity of his guests were being bought and sold with the involvement of airport and immigration officials. Kahar said: "there's the buying and selling of names at a cost of Rp. 50,000 (US$5) per name. The sale must include the complete identity of the guest, their country of origin, room number and planned length of time for their stay." Kahar explained that the practice has been underway for some time and efforts to catch the criminal have been difficult due to the involvement of numerous parties in the scheme, including foreigners. The veteran hotelier believe the victims are tracked by the criminals from the moment they arrive at Bali's airport. When the guest is from Japan the mysterious called is a Japanese national. Similarly, if the guest is Dutch, the caller will be from The Netherlands. "If the guest is Indonesia, the caller will be an Indonesian," said Kahar. General Sutisna told the press that the reports from the BVA and hotels will form the basis of an investigation from his department as it appears to be a new method of crime involving an international crime network. The Chief has ordered the Head of his intelligence division to investigate the case further.
Bali's Big Bike Saga Continues
Intense Press Scrutiny Brings Promises from Police and Tax Authorities That Illegal Big Bikes will No Longer be Allowed on Bali's Roads.
As reported in Balidiscovery.com [See: Bali Police Pressured to Bring Big Bikes Under Control], the developing story of possible police collusion in the operation of illegal and unregistered large motorcycles continues to unfold. Beritabali.com alleges that Bali vehicle registration office (SAMSAT) receives a Rp. 3 million "payment" (US$300) from every unregistered bike owner which secures a membership card in a "big bike club" that facilitates operation of the bike on public streets. Quoting a "trusted source," Beritabali.com reports the are hundreds of illegal large motorcycles operating in Bali who operate on the islands roads under the protection big bike clubs. The source who is a member of a bike club said: "Every year the club pays Rp. 3 million to Samsat and the member of the club receives a membership card. The cards now number in the hundreds." Beritabali.com said their source had no idea what he the Rp. 3 million given to Samsat was used for or if, perhaps, it was being paid to provincial tax authorities or the custom's office. The source admitted: "My gosh, I have no idea. You'll need to check." The source said that plans to offer an amnesty for big bikes during the tenure of General Made Pastika as police chief, got set aside then Pastika was reassigned to Jakarta. Traffic Police Respond The Chief of Bali's traffic police, Bambang Sugeng has vehemently denied allegations of a Rp. 3 million payment to Samsat, saying, "there's no such thing; don't politicize this matter." He told the press that everything done by his division is according to the book and every vehicle must have complete registration or face prosecution under the law. Sugeng's latest statements are in contradiction to earlier comments to the press when he said unregistered large bikes are allowed to operate in Bali if escorted by the police and their travel was for public service. Such a practice would be in violation of traffic laws that require all vehicles and their operators to be fully licensed and registered. According to Beritabali.com, taxpayers are complaining about the large numbered of seemingly unregistered large bikes operating on Bali's roads, calling on Bali's Chief of Police General Sutisna to rein in illegal bikes operating under the protection of large bike clubs. Tax Authorities Take Charge In a more recent development, provincial tax authorities have announced that they will soon undertake a survey of the 9 large bike clubs in Bali to determine if a Rp. 3 million illegal levy has been paid in the past and obtain an accurate count on the number of unregistered bikes there are on the island. This move was announced by the head of the tax office for Bali, Ketut Budiasih. Budiasih has already been asked the leaders of all large motorcycle clubs in Bali to hand over details of bike ownership among their members. Said Budiasih: "We have asked for data on ownership of the bikes and the identity of the owners. We will then know how many illegal bikes are operating on the island." He insisted that bikes found to be unregistered will be handled in strict accordance with the law. Plans are for all large bikes to be registered under an amnesty program now in preparation.
Take Time to Be Kind
Hard Rock Hotel Bali and Hard Rock Café Treat Local Orphans to a Fun Day Out.
To celebrate Universal Children's Day Hard Rock Hotel Bali invited children from Yasa Kerthi Orphanage for a special day at the hotel on November 20, 2009. "It is part of our promise to support, assist and monitor the development of Yasa Kerthi Orphanage through our long term commitment. Hard Rock Hotel Bali is devoted to honoring all children and providing equal opportunities to develop their future. On this Universal Children's Day, we want children to have the opportunity to just be kids by participating in lots of fun activities in our property." said Aulianty Fellina Rizal, Marketing and Communication Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Bali. The day began 11.00 am when the children arrived at the Hard Rock Hotel Bali and taken on a tour of the hotel's collection of Rock N Roll memorabilia followed by lunch at the Kid's Pool and a tour of the Hard Rock Café.. At the Café, the kids enjoyed a guitar and juggling performance presented by Hard Rock Café's staff. An afternoon of special activities was arranged at the Hotel's massive swimming pool including Kayak Races, water walking, boogie Races and a treasure hunt game. Hard Rock Radio Bali interviewed several of the children prior to their attendance at a special performance by X-cite Band at Centerstage.
Departing the hotel at 6 pm to return to the orphanage, the children had enjoyed a day of great food, games and new friendships formed with the staff of the Hotel and Café.
Bali Needs a HIV/AIDS Care Center
Bali Activists Cite Need for Care and Education for Those Suffering from HIV/AIDS in Bali.
HIV/AIDS activist in Bali have called on Bali's administration to establish a special rehabilitation center for people suffering from the disease. Quoted in The Jakarta Post, Arti Murti, a local social activist, said a complete approach to dealing with HIV/AIDS must include both the medical treatment of the illness and a public education program. Said Murti, who is the author of an authoritative book on HIV/AID: "People living with HIV/AIDS need access to a shelter or rehabilitation center that provides technical assistance and psychological support to help them survive." The rehabilitation center is necessary to help infected people to survive by providing them with medical treatment, training and counseling, she said, considering that efforts to treat the people have yet to be comprehensive. Ari shared with the press her dream of establishing a shelter and safe-have for those suffering from HIV/AIDS who have often been abandoned by family and friends to fend for themselves. Adding, "the people deserve a chance to spend the rest of their lives with dignity and joy." Arimbi, another activist working with commecial sex workers and HIV/AID patients, shares Ari's vision, saying: "The rehabilitation center will allow them to have better lives, save them from rejection by their families and surrounding community." She also said that such a faiclity would provide an alternative to sex workers, helping them not return to the sex trade that would further spread HIV/AIDS infections. She warned that the current number of known cases of HIV/AIDS in Bali was only the "tip of the iceberg," with, since the number of unreported cases was likely much higher.
Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!
Bali Welcomes the 2009 Vintage of Beaujolai Nouveau.
Celebrated every November around the world, the wine that pauses for only a few weeks between the vine and the wine glass – Beaujolais Nouveau is quaffed at special occasion where wine afficiandos wait for wine deliverd by horesback, courier bike, jets and speed boat. And, while experts will argue whether the newly corked bottle of Beaujolais is fine wine or a marketing trick by a very clever Frenchman, no one will deny that the convivial gatherings which use this wine as their Raison d'etre have become an established event on the world’s culinary calendar. The 2009 Vintage Report quotes Georges Duboeuf as saying that the 2009 vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau is full of charm and character – a quintessential Primeur. Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! The comité des fêtes du consulat de France in partnership with Restaurant METIS have announced that the Beaujolais Nouveau will land in Bali on Friday, December 4, 2009. The arrival of this newest of wines will be celebrated at Restaurant METIS Jalan Petitenget No. 6, Kerobokan. Festivities get underway at 8 pm and include a traditional French Grand Buffet. Tickets cost Rp. 400,000 (US$40) and include the buffet and 2 glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau wine. Tickets are on sale in the French Consulate in Sanur – telephone ++62-(0)361-285 485; Alliance Française in Renon – telephone ++62-(0)361-234143; Café Moka in Seminyak; Global Chiropractor at the Kuta Istana Galleria - telephone ++62-(0)361-769 279; Rendez-vous doux in Ubud; Restaurant The Junction in Seminyak; Restaurant METIS in Kerobokan – telephone ++62-(0)361- 737 888. Related Website [Comité des fêtes du consulat de France],
Keeping Bali's Villas Safe
Bali Villa Association and Chief of Police Meet to Discuss Keeping Bali’s Villas Safe.
In a meeting on Wednesday, November 25, 2009, between the Bali Villa Association (BVA) and Bali's Chief of Police, General Sutisna, the BVA reported that of the 750 villa operating commercially in Badung regency, only 500 are in possession of formal registration. As reported by Beritabali.com, the meeting held at the office of the Police Chief also discussed the deteriorating traffic condition in Bali and increasing levels of crime against foreign nationals. Ismoyo, the Chairman of the BVA, said the existence of 250 unregistered commercial villas in Badung regency manifests a number of problems, chief among which is the uneven level of security in place at villas. He called on the police to introduce a standardization of security practice for villas in Bali, particularly in the areas of staffing, training and equipment. Explained Ismoyo: "In a number of villas there are no satpam (uniformed security). When, in fact, the presence of satpam is very necessary to keep the area surrounding a villa safe." In their meeting with the police, BVA asked that the standardization in security practice in place for Bali's hotels also be extended to the island's villas and restaurants. At the same time, the BVA has called on the police to pay more attention to villa security in the future. Because many villas in Bali are owned by foreigners, efforts to improve security for this segment demand better security be put in place at villas. ”I have seen the property of foreigners snatched away while they are sitting in a restaurant. The owner of the restaurant do not want to accept responsibility when this happens," said Dewi Mas Bloem, Assistant Manager of The Haven. The problem of traffic accidents in tourist areas was also tabled at the meeting between the BVA and the Bali police. The tragic road accidents happening in Bali is oftentimes connected with the imprudence of foreign tourists who become intoxicated and drive motorcycles while in Bali. Radu Fentiu the General Manager of the Bali Mandira complained to the police: "The problem is created by the foreign visitors themselves. They don't wear helmets; don't wear shirts and smell of alcohol. They drive motorcycles in a reckless manner resulting accidents and death. In their own country they would be punished (for their behavior)." The delegation also questioned the deployment of police in the Petitenget area. Tourist have complained that police from the Kuta precinct do not respond to cases in Seminyak, due to the distance from their precinct office. The BVA members ask the police to assign officers at the Petitienget post Police Chief Sutisna promised said he would respond the to the information provided him during the meeting, emphasizing that good security in the community requires strong cooperation between the police and Bali’s tourism operators. General Sutisna said how his office had long complained that many villas do not employ satpam, leaving unprotected villas vulnerable to crime. He reminded villa owners investing in Bali that part of that investment must also include an investment in security.
Bali Legislators Want Special Decrees on Rabies
Bali Lawmakers Call on Governor Pastika to Issue Technical Regulations to Help Fight Rabies Epidemic.
Bali lawmakers from the provincial House of Representatives (DPRD) are recommending that Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika issue rules and regulations to bring the current rabies epidemic under control. Quoted in Beritabali.com,DPRD members said the additional regulations from the governor are needed to complement the provincial law on rabies now being considered by the legislature. The Chairman of Commission IV of the DPRD-Bali, Kariyasa Adnyana, told the press that the governor’s instructions would form the procedures of technical execution in the field in the fight against rabies. Funding In order to fund the anti-rabies campaign, the DPRD-Bali is attempting to allocate Rp. 25 billion (US$2.5 million) to fund counter-measures in 2010. Adnyana said: “This has to do with technical details in the field, we are pushing for Rp. 25 billion for Bali in 2010 to help make Bali rabies free by 2012. We are also hopeful that Bali will ask for help from the Central Government.” The Bali legislator also condemned recent incidents in which health officials were caught selling rabies vaccine. All rabies vaccines in Bali must be given without charge.
Bali's Illegal Villas Threatened with Demolition
250 Villas in Bali's Badung Regency Threatened with Demolition for Failing to Obtain Commercial Licenses.
Radar Bali reports that illegal villas in the Badung Regency of Bali may face demolition following a meeting between Bali's Chief of Police, General Sutisna, and the Vice-Regent of Badung, Ketut Sudikerta. That meeting focused on an estimated 250 villa from a total of 750 in Badung that are reported to be operating commercially without the required permits and licenses. The meeting was a follow-up to a visit paid to the police by a delegation from the Bali Villa Association (BVA) that told of 250 illegal villas operating with inadequate security precautions in place. The BVA called on the police to extend a program of standardized security precaution now in place for Bali’s hotels to the island’s villas and restaurants. During his meeting with the Chief of Police, Vice-Regent Sudikerta said that the owners of illegal villas in Bandung have been given written warnings. “We given a warning to the owners of the villas. But, until now there are still many villas that have not organized their permits…we will demolish the villas if they do not obtain permits and registration,” warned Sudikerta. The Chief of Police added his warning to villa owners, telling them that their investment in Bali is not complete without an additional investment in security precautions.
Depasar Tourism Tax Collection Increase
US$8.4 million in Hotel & Restaurant Taxes Collected in Denpasar During First Ten Months of 2009.
The Denpasar Tourism Office reports that tax targets from hotel and restaurant levies have surpassed targets for 2009. From a targeted Rp. 84 billion (US$8.4 million) divided between hotels (Rp. 62 billion) and restaurants (21 billion), Rp. 85 billion (US$8.5 million) has been collected through the end of October 2009. The Head of the Tourism Office for Denpasar, Putu Budiasa, said that total hotel and restaurant taxes collected in October equaled Rp. 7 billion from hotels and Rp. 3 billion from restaurants. This compares with Rp. 6 billion and Rp. 1 billion collected from hotels and restaurants, respectively, in October 2008. Also increasing in 2009 were taxes and fees collected from the issuance of principle permits and operating permits. Against a targeted 90 million, the Denpasar government has collected Rp. 140 million through the end of October 2009. Fees for principle permits and operating licenses are derived from licenses for restaurants, home stays and recreation centers.
KLM US$90 Fare Bali to Singapore
Very Special Round Trip Fare of US$90 on First Three Flight of KLM Between Bali and Singapore December 7, 9 and 12, 2009.
Here’s a great deal that definitely won’t last long. To help mark the resumption of flight services by KLM to Bali, the Amsterdam-based carried is offering Bali residents an unbelievable US$90 fare (not including taxes and surcharges) for a round trip ticket from Bali to Singapore. Departure must take place on one the first three flights to Singapore from Denpasar (Bali) flying on December 7, 9 or 12, 2009. Bookings can be made on line at [KLM Indonesian Website] or by telephoning KLM in Jakarta at ++62-(0)21-2526741. KLM 836 flying from Denpasar-Singapore operates three times each week on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday departing Bali at 9:30 pm arriving in Singapore at 5 minutes past midnight. KLM 835 from Singapore to Bali operates on the same days leaving Singapore at 5:25 pm and landing in Bali at 8:10 pm. Flights are operated in Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Jakarta Say No to Governor's Request for Turtle Quota
Department of Forestry Rejects Governor Pastika's Request for 1,000 Green Turtles to be Sacrificed Each Year for Bali Religious Ceremonies.
A controversial recommendation from Bali's governor that 1,000 turtles be set aside each year for ceremonial sacrifice now appears a dead issue following its rejection by the Central government in Jakarta. Despite pledges by Governor Pastika that the sacrificed turtles would not re-open the long-banned turtle trade in Bali or see the meat from the turtles on sale at local satay stands, Indonesian NGO's and community groups were quick in rejecting the proposal. [See: Serangan Islanders Against Bali's Turtle Trade] And, while turtle meat is a long-standing local delicacy, many Balinese now are vehemently opposed to the wholesale slaughter of endangered turtles on religious or exotic appetite grounds. In the case of the people of Serangan island, a local population which once derived much of it income form the turtle trade has responded to education and publicity to become on the most vocal opponents to any kind of turtle trade in Bali. Pastika's desire to have a carefully controlled quota of only 1,000 turtles each year used for ceremonial purposes has now apparently been dealt a final death blow by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry in Jakarta who have turned down the governor's request based on scientific recommendations from experts engaged by the ministry. Quoted in the Jakarta Post, an official of the Forestry Ministry, Masyud, said, "The law clearly mandates it was not possible, that the green turtles are included in the animals listed for protection." Jakarta officials and NGO's in the Capital were reportedly shocked by the large number of turtle asked for in the governor's quota, seeing a large number as difficult to monitor and creating an opportunity for concealment of Bali's illegal turtle trade. Following Jakarta's rejection of the turtle quota, the head of the Bali Hindu Faith Council, Ngurah Sudian, is asking national leaders to approve a smaller quota. He told the press that five turtles are need for each of the 100 to 150 large ceremonires held every year at various temples across the island. "The central government should understand the need for green turtles as part of traditional ceremonies because it relates to our faith," Sudiana said. "Prohibiting it will hurt Balinese people." Many Balinese temples have changed ceremonial procedures that once calle for the decapitation of turtles and now live-release turtles back into the ocean as part of their offering ceremonials.
Illegal Levies Sought at Bali's Tourism Office
Badung Officials Vehemently Deny Reports in Local Press of Illegal Payments From Hotels, Restaurants and Bars Seeing Operating Licenses in Bali.
NusaBali has broken a story indicating large scale unofficial payments being made to the Badung Tourist Office (Dispar Badung) in connection with the issuance of licenses for hotels, restaurants and bars in the regency. The report says that the payment of the special fees or donations are being given in return for promises that applications for operating licenses would be speedily processed and approved. Quoting an unnamed local hotel owner, an "insider" at the tourism office accepts a fixed-price-donation of Rp. 100 thousand (US$10) for every chair at a restaurant or bar and Rp. 1 million (US$100) for every room of a hotel. The same source said the unofficial payment is made at the time of application for the required licenses issued by Dispar Badung. The source said: "to convince the contributor, the amount is written into a ledger. But, in reality, the money does not go into an official government account." The hotelier said the unofficial payments have been a fact of life since he was involved in arranging permits and are charged starting from the village level (keluruhan) up until the district level (kecamatan). The local hotelier’s allegations were confirmed by another source said by the paper to be employed on the staff of the Tourism Service. NusaBali said the distribution of the illegal fees among certain officials within the tourism service had become a separate source of irritation among workers at the government office. Lower level staff at the Tourism Office are said to be complaining that they get no share of the spoils. Quoting one tourism staffer, "the distribution is not fair, only those at the top are getting a share while staff at the Disparda who are not getting enough are beginning to open their mouths." The allegations of illegal payments have been directly denied by the head of the Tourism Office for Badung, I Made Subawa. He insists that the reports are not true and is certain that none of his subordinates are guilty of charging illegal levies." All licensing procedures are in accordance with rules in place, it is impossible that there are any illegal fees," Subawa proclaimed. Subawa went on to say that hotel licensing is based on Provincial Law No. 14 of 1996 which contains no stipulation for a Rp. 1 million fee per room being alleged by various sources. At the same time, Subawa admitted that Provincial Law No. 16 (paragraph 18) of 1996 does provide a licensing fee of Rp. 10,000 (US$1) per chair for bars. "But it is not correct to say we take a fee of Rp. 100 thousand per chair," he added. Subawa went on to explain that through the month of November the tourism office of Badung has failed to achieve its target for registration fees from bars. "Until now, from an annual target of Rp. 6 million (US$600), less than half that amount has been paid to Dispar," he explained. In explaining the reports of illegal fees, Subawa said the guilty parties were most probably middlemen, fixers and brokers offering to organize licenses and permits. These individuals will invariably list a "service fee (uang jasa)" in their charges. Subawa said it is impossible to avoid such practices among "fixers" involved in the licensing process.
Exterminating Bali's Dogs Won't Stop Spread of Rabies
Public Hearing on Rabies in Bali Conclude Mass Vaccination as the Only Effective Way to Stop the Spread of Rabies.
Bali Post quotes a number of local organizations in Bali complaining that the current program of exterminating stray dogs will prove ineffective in the government's goal to eliminate rabies in Bali before 2012. To date the government has only managed to kill 35,000 dogs each year from a total estimated dog population on the island of 420,000 animals. Current dog extermination programs, as a result, have little hope of eliminating the virus. This is the view of many of the community-based organizations that attended an open hearing with the Government's Special Committee on the Control of Rabies held on Tuesday, November 24, 2009, in Denpasar. The hearings were chaired by the head of the Special Committee, Putra Astawa. One participant, Wita of the Bali Rabies Forum, described the provincial law on rabies now being discussed by Bali's House of Representatives as reflecting the extraordinary fear of lawmakers towards the disease. As a result, there is a desire to eliminate all dogs, both the healthy and infected animals, and even those dogs who have now been vaccinated against the disease. Behind this fear, Wita said there is concern that an irresponsible party will release a rabies infected monkey at one of Bali's tourism objects or at the West Bali National Park. Also concerned and speaking at the meeting was IGP Budiarta, a member of the Special Committee who expressed fears that the disease will soon spread to Bali's cattle stock. Budiarta called for measures to be put in place controlling the commerce of cattle between Java and Bali, condemning the tendency to only snap into action when the issue is a hot topic in the local press. Wita reminded the Special Committee that dogs are not the cause of the rabies epidemic, but are victims of the disease. Bali must cure its dog population through mass vaccination programs rather than extermination programs. "We members of community-based organizations are prepared to help the government undertake mass vaccination programs, providing the government provides the needed medicines," Wita said. Reflecting the fear and ineffectiveness of current measure is a reluctance by the government to declare all of Bali is affected by rabies. Instead, the government issues statements saying only 7 of the island's 9 provinces have cases of rabies. The community-based organizations challenged the government to adopt an island-wide perception of the problem and its solution to permit mass vaccination programs to be undertaken in every regency. The Special Committee concluded at the meeting that mass vaccination is more effective than current efforts to eliminate dogs. They also said there was no need to close Bali's borders to the importation or export of dogs, but only to ensure that every dog leaving or entering the island has been vaccinated for rabies.
Bali: A Most Romantic Island
Bali's Birth Rate on the Rise as Family Planning Officials Mobilize to Reduce Island's Fertility Rate.
Uncontrolled population growth remains a threat to Bali's future as the islands total fertility rate (TFR) continues to increase on a year to year basis. The total fertility rate (tfr) is a scientific projection of the number of children the average woman in a given population with produce during the course of her lifetime. It is obtained by summing the single-year age-specific rates at a given time. Bali's TFR for 2009 stands at 2.1 children, a figure lower than the national figure of 2.6 children, but substantially higher than the TFR rate of 1.9 recorded for Bali in 2003. In the course of only three years the TFR for women in Bali has increased a dramtic 15.8%. These figure were revealed by the Head of the Bali Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Drs, I Ketut Sutjita, at a conference on family planning held in Denpasat on Novemebre 23, 2009. "Compared with other areas, such a Yogya, we are defeated as they have been able to reduce their TFR to 1.8. Meanwhile, in in Bali the TFR rate is on the increase," explained Sutjita. Because otf the increase levels of fertility the Bali family planning workers are increasing socialization programs to educate the Balinese on birth control. Religious leaders from Bali's Hindu organizations are also being mobilized in the effort to reduce the island's birth rates.
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