The Star, May 4th, 1999

All animals suspect

Ipoh SPCA bars entry of dogs, cats

By V.P. Sujata

IPOH: The Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has stopped taking in stray dogs and cats for the time being.

Society vice-chairman Datuk N.T. Rajah said it has stopped accepting stray animals over the last two months since an outbreak of viral encephalitis.

He said the move was a precautionary measure to ensure that animals in its care were not infected.

However, he said the society would accept animals which have been certified healthy by a veterinarian.

"We will have to pass the responsibility to the veterinarians.

"Those who can produce a certificate stating that an animal is healthy can bring it to us along with the certificate as proof."

Rajah said it was "most unlikely" for the animals under its care to be infected with JE or the Nipah virus as the society pound was located in an isolated area across the hills off Jalan Gopeng.

Yesterday, a group of officers from the Veterinary Research Institute took blood samples from some dogs and cats at the pound following the Veterinary Services Department's announcement that these animals could also be infected with the Nipah virus and might have to be put down.

Blood samples from five dogs and five cats were taken yesterday.

The team from the institute was assisted by Mike Bunning, an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer attached with the National Centre for Infectious Diseases based at Fort Collins, Australia.

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