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Mass Vaccinations Set To Curb Rabies Outbreaks In Bali’s Tourist Resorts 

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Veterinary officials in Bali will be running a series of mass vaccination drives on stray, community-owned, and pet dogs in the region.

The mission is to vaccinate over 70,000 dogs against rabies for the protection of local people and tourists. 

Dog walkers on Bali Beach

The Denpasar City Government, along with the Provincial Agriculture Service, have set a target to vaccinate over 73,000 dogs in 2024.

The Head of the Denpasar City Agriculture Service, AA Gde Bayu Brahmasta, or who is more often called Gung Bayu, said that his teams are very focused on preventing rabies. One of the key reasons for the public mass vaccination drive is to support the tourism sector. 

Gung Bayu told reporters, “We are very focused on preventing rabies. We continue to carry out various efforts to support the optimization of rabies prevention.”

He added, “We are targeting 90 percent of the predicted population, around 73,975 individuals; of course, cross-sector collaboration is needed to reach that number.”

It is estimated that in 2024, the number of dogs in the Denpasar City jurisdiction of Bali will reach 82,000. 

Gung Bayu added, “Hopefully, sustainable rabies prevention efforts in Denpasar City can continue to be optimized, especially in Bali, which is known as a tourist area.”

Top attractions in the Denpasar area of Bali include Sanur Beach, Serangan Island, and the Denpasar Heritage area, home to landmarks like the Bajra Sandhi Monument. 

Aside from mass vaccination drives against rabies, the Indonesian Veterinary Association, Denpasar City Government, and Provincial Agriculture Service periodically offer free sterilization clinics to dogs in the area.

They also catch, neuter, and release stray dogs. 

The Chair of the Bali Branch of the Indonesian Veterinary Association (PDHI), Dr Dewa Made Anom, told reporters that both mass vaccination and mass sterilization of dogs have a positive impact on the dog’s welfare and public health. 

Dr. Anom told reporters, “A sterilized dog will be healthier, live longer, and be obedient to its owner. They also do not suffer from venereal diseases and skin diseases that are transmitted from contact with other dogs.”

Evidence suggests that neutering male dogs can help make them less aggressive, reducing the risk of dog fights and dog attacks.

Of course, the biggest benefit of mass neutering dogs in Bali is that it helps control the population, reducing the pressure on many of the island’s leading animal welfare groups. 


Organizations like BAWA and the Bali Animal Welfare Association are called to rescue puppies and dogs on a daily basis. The organization also runs mass neutering and vaccination drives to help support local communities with at-risk dog populations.

Over the course of a year, BAWA has conducted over 6,000 sterilizations, over 22,000 emergency call-outs, provided over 250,000 meals to hungry animals in Bali, and issued over 9,000 annual rabies vaccinations. 

Tragically, rabies is a real threat to Bali.

While for many pet owners in Australia, Europe, and North America, the rabies vaccination is a precaution, the rabies vaccinations in Bali seriously save the lives of both people and dogs. 


Last year, several people lost their lives to rabies in Bali, including a 6-year-old girl.

It is vitally important for tourists to seek immediate medical attention if they have been bitten by a dog, monkey, or potentially rabies-carrying animal in Bali or anywhere in the world. 

According to the World Health Organisation, “After exposure of people to a potentially rabid animal, they should seek post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which consists of immediate, thorough wound washing.”


Symptoms of rabies post-exposure typically do not manifest for 2-3 months, though sometimes people have shown symptoms as early as one week post-exposure and as far away as one year.

WHO says, “Initial symptoms of rabies include generic signs like fever, pain, and unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking, or burning sensations at the wound site.

As the virus moves to the central nervous system, progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develops.”

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Steve b

Sunday 14th of April 2024

Well in the singaraja area my house calling vet often can't source the rabbies vaccinations. So often what you see in media and on the ground is hopelessly incorrect


Thursday 18th of April 2024

@Steve b,

Here vaccination is organised by the Regency in conjunction with the local banjars. Been happening twice a year, and I haven't had to involve my local vet.


Monday 15th of April 2024

@Steve b, of course it is. They couldn't care less because it doesn't increase their bank accounts.


Sunday 14th of April 2024

Just open hunting season on all stray and unvaccinated and unlicensed dogs and kill them. They're just a nuisance and shit all over the place for people to walk and lie in on the beach. Not exactly my idea of a good time!


Monday 15th of April 2024

@Firechef, well done. Your comment is actually what the WHO recommended in 2008 when the current outbreak started. They said kill them all, particularly in Gyanyar (which includes Ubud). This article has been "rewritten" every single year since then. It will be repeated next year when nothing at all has been achieved or begun. It doesn't increase tourism receipts. All they are interested in is easy money from stupid travellers.


Monday 15th of April 2024


They do that in Canada and Alaska. I just moved back to Thailand and 4 months ago there was a huge problem with overfed aggressive street dogs. Tossed out restuarant food, the do good dog lovers feeding them. Could nor even walk around the area at night.

So one day they were all gone, and I mean forty or fifty of them.


Saturday 13th of April 2024

Vaccination is only part of the picture. But they will never be able to eradicate rabies as long as many locals do not look after their dogs and cats. Dogs are free roaming, out all night allowed to fight it out with other dogs and strays.

Why not educate the locals how rabies is transmitted? A few might be able to change their ways and keep dogs and cats indoor during nighttime.


Monday 15th of April 2024

@Steve b,

Lock up is possible in most urban areas. When you get outside, which is most of the island, it's unrealistic. Dogs will have a home base but are free to roam.


Sunday 14th of April 2024

Dogs roaming free is a "headache" for people who are afraid of dogs and/or have allergies. Its a real nightmare walking the streets after 22.00

Steve b

Sunday 14th of April 2024

@Exp, that won't happen unfortunately, Balinese believe that when naughty people are reincarnated they come back as dogs I kid you not. It's true What you Say though. Our 2 dogs are fully fenced in lucky we have a big block for our bali dogs from pup


Sunday 14th of April 2024

@Exp, I believe most people are aware of the way it's transmitted but in many cases if the dog has shown no symptoms they don't treat it seriously. That's an area for attention. Get bitten no matter how minor, go to hospital and get the jabs. This means RI must ensure a supply of vaccine is readily and easily accessed. Locking up at night doesn't help during daytime when most dogs will be more likely to be out and about.

Changing attitudes? Sydney has the recommendation for cats which is well publicised. All cats (and dogs) must be microchipped and registered. All cats over 4 months must be desexed unless you have provided an accepted reason and have paid for an additional annual registration fee. Housing and property is far more suitable for secure lock up. There are rangers looking for, still catching and impounding 'escapees'.

Vaccination and sterilisation is the most effective way to eliminate it. It's the most cost effective in the long run. Keep costs and time down by only sterilising males.

When the teams go out make both compulsory.

Dumping unwanted dogs and pups is a common practice. Don't cut and jab, euthanise them.