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  Thousands of animals in Jakarta injected against rabies

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BerichtOnderwerp: Thousands of animals in Jakarta injected against rabies   vr 6 okt 2017 - 22:49




ABC News,7/10/2017

Simply put, it was chaos.

Dogs, cats and civets brought together for a meeting on a central Jakarta street.

And if that wasn't confronting enough, then the needles emerged.

With their animal instinct, they knew something was coming. The whimpering, barking, panting, shaking and hissing proved it.

And they were right, those people in the vet coats really were vets who'd come to jab them in their backsides.

It was all for their own good of course, and they should have been grateful. But, predictably without a second glance, they wandered off afterwards with their tails in the air without even so much as a Terima Kasih.

They'd all just been part of Jakarta's rabies vaccination program, a vital scheme that has helped ensure the Indonesian capital has remained free of the deadly disease since 2004.

Normally, vets travel from house to house to offer the vaccine, but on this day there's a World Rabies Day celebration, and so in the suburb of Kemayoran they gather on a small street temporarily cut off to traffic.

"All animals in Jakarta that can transmit rabies, including dogs, cats and monkeys must be vaccinated," Bayu Sari Hastuti, the head of the Central Jakarta Agricultural office, told the ABC.

"In the past, there have been a lot of people who have become infected by rabies, especially children."

Rabies is a viral disease leading to inflammation of the brain. Its nickname, "mad dog's disease", is frightening but accurate. Once symptoms emerge it is most commonly fatal for humans.

The head vet overseeing the vaccinations, Dr Hasudungan Sidabalok, said 90 per cent of the time the disease was transmitted by dogs but could be present in all hot-blooded animals with fangs.

"The virus itself is mostly in the saliva of the dogs — when they bite us it will be transmitted through our blood to the brain," he said.

Then our behaviour would be dog-like, we would behave like a mad dog."

Hence the determination to maintain the rabies-free status Jakarta worked so hard to gain.

But it's a mammoth task, given 25 of Indonesia's 34 provinces still battle with the presence of rabies, including in areas bordering the capital.

"We need to continue to promote this to the public, in public parks," Dr Sidabalok said.

Cruel to be kind

It's hoped more than 25,000 animals will receive the free jab in Jakarta this year alone.

Indonesian Muslims are not known for their love of the canine; in fact, many shun dogs as dirty. But there are still plenty in a diverse city of 10 million people.

Sani Barli has brought her dog Ipoy for the jab."If he's healthy and well-groomed then, as the owner, I am happy and not worried," she said of her spaniel.

Miko the civet moves around his owner's body like he's a tree.

"Miko for me is a very special pet and I love him very much," his owner explained."I am here to get him vaccinated so he's healthy and well."

The cruelness to be kind went on through the morning as did the barking, whimpering and hissing; but home sound now, all would have surely been forgiven and forgotten and they're rabies-free for another year.


siK.


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