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The Need for 'Dog-Free' Zones

Local Animal Health Expert Calls for Establishment of 'Dog-Free Zones' in Areas Near Monkey Colonies to Prevents the Spread of Rabies.

(2/23/2009) BisnisBali.com quotes the Chief of the Indonesian Veterinarian Laboratory Association, Dr. A.A. Gde Putra, as calling for the establishment of "dog-free zones" in areas with local populations of monkeys.

According to Dr. Putra, there are at least 44 monkey colonies in Bali, 4 of which can be found in South Kuta, such as the large group of monkeys inhabiting the Pura Uluwatu complex.

The majority of rabies cases in the current outbreak of that disease have occurred in South Kuta.

Other areas of Bali where colonies of monkeys come into close proximity with tourist visitors are Sangeh and Alas Kedaton.

Dr. Putra said it is time that the government take note of these monkey populations and their potential as carriers of rabies.

To avoid any possibility of rabies spreading to humans via the not infrequent scratches and bites inflicted by monkeys on tourist visitors, Dr. Putra is calling for a 500 meter radius around every monkey colony to be declared a "dog-free zone." Included in this proposal, he suggests dogs found within the "dog-free zone" would be immediately destroyed by security officials assigned to guard these areas.

Meanwhile, Dr. Putra insists that all dogs in areas surrounding the proposed "dog-free Zones" must be vaccinated against rabies as an added precaution.