Revisiting the China Dog Cull

The China dog culling travesty clearly angered a lot of people back in August. Many of you posted with concern and frustration. So, in light of this I’ve decided to quickly revisit the issue.

When nothing else is known about the issue, or about the progress of animal welfare reform in China, it’s easy to throw accusations at the sight of seeing dogs ripped from the arms of their owners and beat to death with clubs. I was certainly appalled and sickened! It’s difficult to believe that the Chinese government has actually taken steps to improve animal welfare in the recent past.

I recently approached our Asia Regional director, Grace Gabriel, who
has a long history working with municipalities in China to improve
animal welfare legislation. We sat together discussing the comments
this issue has generated on our blog. What can be done to stop dog
culling? What kind of answer and guidance should I submit to our blog
readers? First and foremost Grace said to me, “Dog culling and the
emotional outcry’s that this practice is barbaric, is not something

When several municipalities years ago decided to initiate a dog cull
IFAW circulated a petition asking these areas to stop the inhumane
extermination of dogs. The petition was signed by compassionate people
all over the world, including CHINESE CITIZENS!

Dog culling stopped. No laws were ever enacted nor were any future
promises made, but at least the culling stopped in those municipalities
and it has not reoccurred.

Additionally, in 2003, with help from IFAW
, the Beijing government
passed a dog regulation mandating vaccination and promoting responsible
dog ownership. For a city that never allowed pet dogs outside between
the hours of 8am and 8pm, this was a monumental step!

Although success has been slow and minimal, these small steps are very significant.

The best way to respond to the dog culling issue is not through
protests and boycotts but through calm negotiation and appeal with
reason. Rallies and boycotts may help release the emotions and anger,
rightfully so, but it may backfire and hurt what we hope to achieve
with rational appeals. 

I hope this offers a new perspective on the situation


Comments: 4

9 years ago

Very nice post. He said something that really helps me deal with my feelings of exasperation and grief over how dogs and cats are treated in China.

10 years ago

I saw a movie about the Dalai Lama yesterday (called 10 Questions - I highly recommend it!). He said something that really helps me deal with my feelings of exasperation and grief over how dogs and cats are treated in China. Despite the fact that 87,000 Tibetans were killed by the Chinese after its takeover, he still feels we need to interact with the Chinese, trade with them, understand them, and get to know them. He holds no anger or bad wishes for them (hard to believe). We need to share our values and our ethics with the Chinese people. We need to keep talking, keep blogging, keep sharing, everywhere we can. Word will reach China as it spreads here. Hopefully, we can make a difference that way - it is the only way. I know this sounds naive and idealistic, but I think he is right: A change of heart is more powerful than any weapon.
Do not give up with our important work. Hate the sin, love the sinner.
Chaplain Nancy Cronk

11 years ago

I understand not everything works with protests and demonstrations, but how else will people now how we feel? I am still outraged about China - and yes we should look to the future but who answers for the defenseless animals who are dead - who answers for the children who may be traumitized by this unspeakable act.

11 years ago

Whilst I agree that calm negotiation is very important, if there is no outcry against stupid pointless and violent cruelty such as with the Chinese dog cull, then how are those who initiate and perpetrate such cruelty supposed to appreciate how people feel about it and how wrong it is? Verbal physical and written demonstrations of anger and dismay are vital, and have been for centuries in any situation where there is contention. It brings about much success and will hopefully continue to do so.

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