Two veterinarians attached to the livestock office in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Tuesday denied that livestock officials killed all stray dogs in areas with rabies cases, but admitted that the rabid dogs were exterminated to prevent the spread of the disease.
Rabies cases were confirmed in Thung Song, Cha-uad, Thung Yai and Chulabhorn districts of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Regarding the rabies cases at Wat Khao Pridi in Thung Soong district, veterinarian Siripong Polsiri, explained the Livestock Department’s standard procedure in the handling of dogs: all the dogs whether they are stray or owned which are within one kilometer from where a rabid dog was found must be vaccinated and officials will be dispatched to the area to investigate.
Any dogs proven to be infected with rabies will be quarantined and destroyed because the livestock office and the local administration body do not have the budget to feed them, he explained.
He, however, assured that the dogs would be injected with anesthetic so that they die painlessly.
For stray dogs within five kilometres from the location where a rabid dog was found, all of them will be vaccinated by livestock officials while owners of pet dogs will have to get the vaccine from local administration body.
Beyond five kilometres, he said it was the responsibility of local administration officials to deal with the dogs.
Veterinarian Metsayon Chivaserichon, meanwhile, said officials decided to kill all the infected dogs after three people in Thung Song district were bitten by an infected dog brought by its owner from a temple in Thung Yai district to Thung Song district.
The three people are now being kept under close watch by provincial health officials and given anti-rabies shots.
The veterinarian disclosed that 14 dead dogs which were proven to be infected with rabies had contacted with dogs at a temple in Thung Yai district.
He defended the need to get rid of dogs infected with rabies rather than allowing them to roam free and spread the disease.