KUCHING: Three police reports were lodged by personnel of a rabies pilot project to vaccinate dogs and remove strays in the Lundu district over fake news circulated on social media.

State Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) chairman, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said allegations were made that the four-day operation — which started on March 1 — trespassed on private property.

“We’ve noticed that there are a lot of allegations on social media and threats made to our personnel on the ground.

“Therefore, I would like to advise the team to ensure that the operation process is clearly followed,” Uggah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said in a statement today.

He said the dog population in Lundu before the operation was estimated to be 2,794 dogs and during the first phase of the operation, 2,559 dogs or 91 per cent were successfully vaccinated, while 673 strays were removed.

“Overall, the operation was a success, especially in achieving its objectives, which was to vaccinate almost 100 per cent of the dog (pet) population and remove strays,” he said.

Uggah said the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department sent out five teams on mop-up rounds in Lundu for vaccination and surveillance after a “sweeping” operation where dog collars were provided as an official marking apart from a vaccination certificate.

He said the standard operating procedure for this operation was to work closely with the tribal chief (ketua kaum) and community leader in Lundu, who guided the team in identifying strays for removal.

“Some shortcomings were identified and we’ve discussed them to ensure a better operational outcome in the next phase” said Uggah, who had earlier chaired a post-mortem review meeting at the Lundu Community Hall.

In thanking the public for their cooperation in eradicating rabies, he said the department would be conducting a mass vaccination at Dewan Persatuan Masyarakat Stampin, Kampung Stutong Baru on March 9.