15 rabies deaths recorded in Bali during 2015, local government aims to mass vaccinate stray dogs

The government is throwing cash at the island’s persistent rabies problem. 

Badung regency with help from the provinical government is preparing Rp 1.2 billion to test and prepare new vaccines.

Made Badra, head of Badung regency’s Animal Husbandry Department says that the new vaccines aren’t ready yet but he hopes they can be ready by April for mass distribution so the government can vaccinate at least 45,000 stray dogs in Badung. 

Badra told local newspaper Tribun Bali that dogs injected with the vaccine would develop an immunity to rabies for one year and dogs already infected with rabies would die 14 days after being injected. 

A total of 15 people were officially recorded as having died from rabies in Bali province in 2015, with the highest amount of deaths (six) in Buleleng, North Bali. Bangli, Gianyar, and Karagasem recorded two deaths per regency, while Badung, Tabanan, and Gianyar had one death case each, and Denpasar had zero, reports say. 

An island-wide shortage of the human-life-saving anti-rabies vaccine (VAR) put Bali on edge last year, causing panic as well as mass dog culling, according to the Bali Animal Welfare Assocation (BAWA)

But at least for now, the island’s current VAR stock “is still safe for 4-5 more months from now,” Dr. Wira Sunetra of Bali Province’s Disease Control and Environmental Health (P2PL) office told Tribun on Tuesday. 

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