IPOH – The government has made an order for a total of 50,000 doses of anti-rabies vaccine in an effort to combat the rabies epidemic.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the doses, which were ordered from the World Rabies Vaccination Centre in Paris, would arrive soon.
“The vaccine will arrive in the next few days. I estimate the 50,000 doses of vaccine supply is sufficient based on the number of dogs in the country, especially in states which are affected by rabies,” he said.
He said this at a press conference after officiating the 39th annual general meeting of the Perak Farmers’ Organisation at Casuarina Hotel in Meru, here today.
Ahmad Shabery said his ministry had also directed other states to send their vaccine stocks to the country’s northern states, so that dog owners there could get their dogs vaccinated.
He said the authorities had also tightened monitoring within the 80-kilometre wide immune-belt area along the Malaysia-Thai border to prevent dog smuggling activities.
Ahmad Shabery said the ministry was also ready to hold discussions with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to address the stray dogs problem and that he was also willing to be a mediator in arranging talks between the NGOs and the veterinary department to share their views.
Meanwhile, commenting further on suggestions that several sectors under the ministry be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Ahmad Shabery said he would propose it from time to time.
“I will put forward the suggestions to the cabinet and I am sure the cabinet will consider all aspects but of course, the government will look at it from a wider perspective.
“What will be the impacts of the GST exemption on national revenue and other implications, but I will continue to raise the matter,” he said. – BERNAMA