PETRA JAYA: Sarawak will consolidate all of its Dog Licensing and Control by-laws into one law, which will be applicable throughout the state.
This is to ensure a more effective control over the dog population in Sarawak.
State Assistant Local Government Minister Datuk Pengguang Manggil said the new by-laws also aimed to review the fee structure, particularly dog license fee, license for pet shops selling dogs as well as to impose higher penalties for various offences.
Currently, all the 26 councils in Sarawak have their own by-laws.
“Thus, what council A is doing might not be the same as council B, so there would be some confusion and other issues raised, especially after the rabies outbreak,” he said.
Starting Dec 1 all free-roaming dogs will be seized for 48 hours and released to their owners with an impounding fee of RM50 per day, he informed.
“Any unclaimed dogs will be put to sleep which I know that some organisations or animal lovers might not feel happy about, but we have to do it as we have yet to contain the rabies outbreak in Sarawak,” he said.
Under the new by-laws, it is an offence for dog owners, breeders and pet shops to keep any diseased dogs while local authorities are required to comply to certain procedures when seizing a diseased dog.
“The fee for a dog breeder is RM1,000 per annum and RM200 for pet shops. The maximum fine for contravening this by-law is RM10,000,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the Baitulmakmur building, here, Pengguang said the dog owners are required to show proof that their pets have been vaccinated with anti-rabies and other vaccinations before any license can be issued or renewed.
In the past, it is not necessary for a dog to have anti-rabies vaccination as Sarawak used to be rabies-free for decades, however, it is compulsory now, he added.
He said it is hoped that the public, especially dog owners, will cooperate with the local authorities to better control dog population and contain the spread of rabies, which had claimed 12 lives since July last year.