Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Many bite Lim Guan Eng over ‘stray dog’ post

The close-up photo of an infected wound, said to have been caused by a dog bite shared by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on his Facebook page while blaming a stray for it, has sparked a fierce debate.

Many doubted that it was a dog bite, while those with medical and dog-care experience feel that even if it was, it must have been caused by a trained guard dog.

Those who called for the extermination of all stray dogs in Penang after reading Lim’s shared posting were lambasted by animal lovers.

Most of the comments ticked Lim off for sharing an unverified photo and questioned the authenticity of his claims.

“This doesn’t look like a dog bite. Even if it is, it is not right for the CM to be reposting this as it can cause unnecessary mass hysteria and panic,” said one of hundreds of commentators who criticised Lim for his FB post.

In sharing the photo, Lim wrote: “Not in the city but by a stray in the hills near Tanjung Bungah. Doesn’t look just a flesh wound as bone maybe bitten.”

The photo which showed a gaping wound on a person’s leg, was re-shared by Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim on his Twitter post on Saturday.

“It’s real. The victim was warded in Penang Hospital for four days and given the rabies immunoglobulin and vaccine,” said Sim.

Social movement Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better founder Wani Muthiah said if the claim made by Lim and Sim was true, then it must have been caused by a trained Rottweiler or German Shepherd.

“It is irresponsible of Lim to accuse a stray. He is fanning public fear of strays,” she said while urging the victim to come forward and relate the incident publicly.

An emergency room doctor in Penang who declined to be named said a dog bite would not look like the wound in the photo.

“Dogs bites don’t look like this. There are always several small and shallow puncture wounds. Otherwise it must have been caused by a huge guard dog.

“One of the long canine fangs could have pierced deep and then the flesh was ripped open because the dog shook hard,” the doctor said.

In mid-September, Lim joined the Perlis and Kedah governments and declared Penang as a rabies-infected area after rabid dogs were found and authorised the culling of the state’s estimated 25,000 stray dogs.

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