CityNews Article Archive:
Chiang Mai Wants to Cut Down on Rabies Cases in the City

July 18, 2012

CityNews – Due to billions of baht being spent on treating rabies and a growing number of rabies cases various schemes to prevent rabies have been initiated throughout Thailand. Rabies Free Zones have been introduced to Chiang Mai but the city still has a problem with abandoned dogs.

The sign says: ‘Rabies Free Zone – Do Not Abandon Dogs in this Area’

Another campaign was held on 18th July at Wat Pa Pang, Muang, Chiang Mai, due to an increase in the number of abandoned dogs in the city. 

People who attended the campaign were given free rabies vaccines for dogs and pets could be neutered. It was said that there are an excess of homeless dogs in Chiang Mai because owners abandoned them. Chiang Mai Municipality asks people not to leave dogs at temples and if they do violators will be charged under the Public Health Act 1992, Rabies Disease Act 1992 and Chiang Mai Public Health Act 2000, with a fine and imprisonment or both. 

If you find or see abandoned dogs, take a picture and call 053 259 136.

In a Citylife interview in 2008 the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) recommended, “All unvaccinated individuals with animal bites should receive immediate treatment with human rabies immune globulin  – post exposure -(HRIG) injected into and around the wound followed by rabies vaccination.” Although at the time of writing HRIG was not available in Chiang Mai, though vaccines were, which are not as effective say some experts.

If you do get bitten, clean the cut immediately with soap and water, wipe all saliva away and if the wound is deep see a doctor.

Citylife interviewed Dr. Wittaya Timsard, who worked for the Veterinarian Bureau of Animal Hygiene in Chiang Mai. He recommended decapitating the dogs that look like they might be infected with rabies and taking it to the Veterinary Laboratory of Development in Lampang for inspection

“Just cut off its head and bring it to us,” said Wittaya, who didn’t seem to find the prospect of impromptu surgery off-putting . . . or even darkly amusing. 

The doctor informed Citylife that “quite a few heads are sent each year to the Veterinary Laboratory of Development in Lampang, either by vets or the public.” The doctor said that the number of infected heads in 1997 was around 50, but in 2007 they didn’t find any infected heads. Although there have been some wrongful beheadings, the initiative to vaccinate dogs in Thailand is working Wittaya said. 

Although in 2012 it seems the numbers of stray dogs and rabies cases is growing. In 2010, the last results CityNews could find, 14 people died of rabies inside Thailand, although in view of the money spent on vaccinations, how many people required treatment?

The DLD (Department of Livestock Development) drives around in buses and visits schools, temples, etc and administers vaccines for free. This takes place in March and

Mobile vaccination clinic for animals: 081 595 1107

The Public Health Centre for information about human rabies is on the corner of Nimmanhaemin Rd. and Suthep Road

For information or queries on animal rabies or how to ‘take care’ of a rabid dog, go to the Zoo Office opposite Chiang Mai Zoo

Rabies vaccinations for pets cost B60 and can be given at the Animal Hospital on the Irrigation Canal Rd. at the CMU Gate

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