IFAW Urges Hanzhong City to Stop Killing Dogs
This post was filed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Colleen Cullen, who distilled this information from our China office among other sources...
Hanzhong city in Shaanxi Province started a massive dog cull since May. Claiming a rabies outbreak, the city officials had ordered to kill unlicensed, stray dogs and at the same time offer vaccination of dogs. Media reports that since May, around 20,000 dogs have been killed by dog beating squads, many of them owned, vaccinated and licensed dogs.
IFAW condemns the indiscriminate mass culling of dogs, particularly dogs that have already been vaccinated against rabies. Rabies has been successfully controlled in many countries through managing dog population and improving public education about effective disease control and treatment. Without scientific regulatory measures to control dog population and prevent disease, Hanzhong city failed to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens. The mass killing of dogs further compounds the problem, glorifies violence, harms the feelings of animal lovers all over the world, creating conflicting relationships with its citizens and inflicts tremendous damage to China’s image.
Killing dogs that have rightful owners is also a violation of the basic rights of a citizen. Although China does not have legislation that protects the welfare of animals, its Constitution calls for the protection of personal property, which includes companion animals rightfully owned.
The cruel killing of dogs by clubbing, beating, hanging and drowning, is cruel, inhumane and unacceptable in any society around the world. It projects images of violence and brutality, which is very much in contradiction to the image China as a country hopes to project to the world, promoting compassion and harmony between animals and people.
IFAW encourages the promulgation of animal welfare legislation at the central government level to ensure the humane treatment of animals in China. It also urges Hanzhong city and other municipalities to put dog population management systems and regulatory guidelines in place to scientifically manage the problems associated with a growing human population in China that want dogs as companion animals.
IFAW has in the past successfully persuaded some municipalities from carrying out dog mass killing campaigns. With technical support from IFAW, Beijing government established the new dog regulation in 2004, which mandates vaccination, registration and promotes dog population control and responsible dog ownership.
IFAW urges Hanzhong city to stop the massive dog killing immediately and adopt similar regulation to control dog population and prevent disease.