Chinese government cancels dog cull yielding to public pressure

Friday, August 5, 2011
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org) congratulates the caring citizens of China whose fervent concern and outrage pressured Jiangmen city officials to withdraw a dog ban and cancel a planned cull.  This action preemptively saved the lives of thousands of innocent animals.

Officials issued a notice that they would ban dogs in three districts of Jiangmen and confiscate and kill all dogs in those areas beginning on August 26. The reason for the notice was to prevent rabies for human safety and to establish a civilized city.

“Civilized cities don’t ban the ownership of man’s best friend. Killing dogs rightfully owned is an outright violation of basic citizens’ rights,” said Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW Asia Regional Director, who is from China.  “Banning and killing dogs are ineffective solutions to preventing rabies, which has been successfully controlled in many parts of the world with education, vaccination and sterilization. We are pleased to see Jiangmen city officials back down from their knee-jerk decision yielding to public outcry.”

Lacking national animal welfare legislation and rabies prevention mechanisms in China, local governments routinely resort to mass dog culls in an effort to “prevent rabies” or to “clean up a city.” Jiangmen government’s controversial decision enraged the Chinese public, so much so that millions of messages of condemnation, concern and plea flooded the online forums, blogs and social networking sites in China.   

“I am tremendously happy and proud to see that public uproar from within China stopped this unethical killing. In the past we were only able to stop some of the dog culls with international pressure,” added Gabriel. “IFAW stands firm with the millions of animal caring people in China who desperately want to see the country to promulgate animal welfare legislation—the most effective way to ban the culling of companion animal, once and for all.”

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