All dangerous dogs will be removed from public areas, he added.
Governor Phakaphong inspected the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter in Thalang on Wednesday (Feb 6).
The shelter is currently home to about 700 dogs, but can support up to about 1,000 dogs, Gov Phakaphong noted.
The inspection visit followed a meeting at the Proud Phuket Hotel at Nai Yang on Wednesday, where Gov Phakaphong announced that the government campaign to eradicate rabies from Phuket and to round up all unwanted stray cats and dogs and dangerous dogs was to begin with full effect on March 1.
The campaign will continue until June 30, he said.
“The aim of this project is provide vaccinations against rabies to all at-risk animals in all areas, and to also raise awareness about rabies, and for people to properly care for their pets, including being responsible for their pets,” he said.
At the meeting the Phuket office of the Department of Livestock Development reported that 23,791 dogs and cats in Phuket were vaccinated in 2018.
For this year, the goal is to vaccinate not less than 20,000. (Must see Soi Dog Foundation report, here.)
According to the campaign plan explained at the meeting, a survey of dog and cat populations in each area across Phuket is to be completed by the end of February, as will the training of volunteers for “rabies prevention”.
The target is to vaccinate at least 80% of all cats and dogs in Phuket by end of March, the meeting was told.
After the survey is complete, any dogs that officials cannot identify the owners of will be moved to the shelter.
Any dangerous dogs will be removed immediately
If cats and dogs are found to “community strays”, feed and cared for collectively by local people, officials will vaccinate and sterilise the animals, but leave them to keep inhabiting where they are found.
A special effort will be made with dogs that owners have dumped at temples, Gov Phakaphong said.
Officials will coordinate with temple administrators to have the dogs vaccinated and sterilised, but the animals will be left at the temples unless officials are asked to remove them.
If any animal is found to have rabies, officials will check all animals in a five-kilometre radius for the disease.
Any animals suspected of being fected with rabies will be put in quarantine to check for signs of the disease and the officials will monitor the area where the animal is found for at least six months.
“Phuket has given importance to the safety of people who live in Phuket and for tourists to be safe from rabies. Therefore, all sectors must focus on the prevention of rabies, control the number of stray dogs by campaigning for people to participate,” Gov Phakaphong said.