Cull of 30,000 pet dogs ordered after deadly rabies outbreak in Chinese City.
Dogs in Jiangmen to be seized and put down to improve sanitation but experts brand plan unscientific and inhumane.
A southern Chinese city has banned pet dogs, leaving tens of thousands facing a cull unless they can find new homes. Authorities in Jiangmen, August will be seized or killed, city officials say. Guard dogs will be allowed, but only for companies with property worth at least 5m yuan (£474,000).
The Jiangmen Daily said officials aimed to “prevent and control rabies, maintain public order and sanitation, and create a sound environment for the people”. The newspaper added that 42 of the city’s 4 million residents had died from rabies in the past three years.
“Dogs found with diseases will be euthanised in a humanitarian manner. We will sign agreements with owners before putting down their dogs,”Li Wantong, technology director at an animal disease control centre in Jiangmen, told the there is growing interest in animal rights, particularly among the middle class.
“This [ban] is not scientific, not humane, and it will not last long. In short term, maybe it could be effective, but after that, people still want to keep dogs,” said Dr Tang Qing of the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention at China‘s Centre for Disease Control. “People won’t accept it and implementing it will be difficult – you can’t break down doors to seize and kill dogs.”
He added that a vaccination programme for dogs would be cheaper and more effective.
China has the world’s second-highest death toll from rabies after India, with cases rising sharply in the past decade, possibly due to increasing pet ownership and rising healthcare costs.
The health ministry says 3,300 people died of the disease in 2007, although the toll fell to 2,466 in 2008 and experts believe the worst may be over.
A 2009 ministry report said only a fifth of China’s 75m dogs were vaccinated against the disease. International Fund for Animal Welfare in China, said: “Decades of research internationally have shown culling is absolutely ineffective in controlling rabies – the only way to control it is through mass vaccination. The second reason that [officials] do it is because people are not taking care of their animals … causing nuisance. That requires education.”
In several cases tightened dog ownership rules have led people to abandon pets, resulting in a large stray population that potentially causes more problems.
Two years ago, Hanzhong in Shaanxi enraged animal lovers by announcing it had culled 36,000 stray and pet dogs.
The Author of this Article was Tania Branigan in Beijing published by the The Guardian, Wed 3 Aug 2011 14.22 BST.
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Additional research by Han Cheng
Protection 4 Animals Supports The Protection of all Animals in all countries throughout the World. It is against the cruelty, torture and experiments on any Animals. It is also again China’s terrible Animal Welfare Policy as in this case the Killing of 30,000 Pet Dogs.
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