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."
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