The Ministry of Public Health yesterday blamed the spread of rabies in the country on irresponsible pet owners and called on the state to have a law to tax, penalise those who don't take care but abandon unwanted cats and dogs.
Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsook, the ministry's permanent sectetary, dismissed earlier reports suggesting substandard vaccines as a cause of the spread of the deadly disease.
He said all the substandard vaccines had been destroyed.
Instead he said the spread was caused by the negligence of the pet owners.
He said there are about 10 million cats and dogs and they were the cause of the spread because of the irresponsible owners.
He said these owners didn't take care of their pets, didn't vaccinate them, and abandoned the unwanted pets.
He said most rabies death cases were bitten by own cats and dogs.
Therefore he said he would like to propose the government to promulgate a law to tax and penalize irresponsible owners for the abandonment of unwanted pets.
Agricultural and cooperative minister Kritsada Boonrat said the substandard vaccines were produced three years ago and they had been destroyed, and replaced for use since 2017.
He said the ministry was cooperating with the Interior Ministry's Local Administration Department to notify local administration organisation officials that they could now spend their own budget to procure rabies vaccines and help vaccine to over a million puppies and dogs to stop the spread.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)