China's Cruel Cure for Rabies

Two weeks ago a headline hit news stands and Internet sites that shocked nearly everyone: “China Begins Mass Dog Slaughter.”

China1 The story behind the headline: As a result of three rabies deaths, Muding County in China’s Yunnan Province initiated a dog cull, aiming to kill 50,000 dogs in the county whether or not they had been vaccinated against rabies. Coordinated by the county police department, dog owners were told to kill their dogs themselves or face dog butchers clubbing their dogs to death.

Nearly 50,000 dogs were clubbed and beaten to death.

Upon questioning by IFAW, Muding County has now claimed to have stopped the cruel massacre. Whether this decision was in reaction to global outcry and opposition, or whether it was because there were simply no more dogs left to slaughter, is unclear.

While Muding County may have dropped their beating sticks, there is still an extremely high chance that other counties will engage in the same exercise in a misguided effort to get rid of rabies. According to media reports, Shandong Province, where 16 people have died from rabies in the last 8 months, is gearing up for a mass slaughter of their own.

Unfortunately, this is not a unique event in China. With no animal welfare legislation at the central government level and without an effective vaccination program or dedicated education efforts, the rabies problem is certain to return. However, in fairness not every county in China plans to execute the same ‘ingenious’ plan. Some counties are allowing owners to have their pets vaccinated for a fee of $25.

Without a doubt, rabies continues to be a battle for China. According to the Chinese Health Ministry, 2375 rabies deaths were reported last year nationwide. There is no question as to whether this problem needs to be dealt with or not, it definitely does. The world is merely asking China to consider humane options that make sense both to solve the problem and relieve such needless suffering for dogs.

I’m curious, does anyone know why police and military dogs are being spared……?

Comments: 42

11 years ago

I am sickened as to the way this is being handled in China...surprised...NO...because it seems that China do not care about animal welfare at all. Where is the government? Where are the animal rights? And WHO could do such horrible things to these dogs and not even care???? It amazed me that Chinese people do not care for animal life.....that they are choosing to club and beat to death thousands of dogs instead of having rabies shots given to their pets. The Chinese government is one the most useless and infamous governments in the world. Do something...step up and have your voice heard if anyone wants to put a stop to this inhumane treatment of animals!!!

11 years ago

I would like to appeal to people to boycott China by trying to steer away from products made there----and letting China know this. The fact that there are NO animal welfare laws in place are despicable ---and this in a country whose people claim to be highly evolved and superior when it comes to culture and spirituality. The money grubbers of the world will never care, it is up to the people on the street to take a position on this and LET CHINA KNOW. Let people in stores know you are looking for NOT China made, let the Chinese government know you plan to stay away from their products, go on the internet and research which companies use chinese labour in order to produce cheap products-and let them know you will not be buying from them. You will be giving your own country and culture a boost as well as pulling the noose tight around the necks of those who care nothing for animals and their rights. PLEASE---lets try and stop this atrocious behaviour. As I write this dogs are suffering and dying. Please, do just one little thing a day to try and put an end to this.
I wish you all well

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