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Humane Society Condemns the Slaughter of Dogs in China

Posted by Author on March 9, 2007

Press release, The Humane Society of the United States, March 7, 2007-

WASHINGTON – The Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International has condemned plans to kill dogs in the southwestern Chinese municipality of Chongqing, where a case of human rabies resulted in death last month. According to a health official, three cases of human rabies have been reported in the municipality’s Wanzhou district during the last year after nine years of no reported cases.

Owners have until March 16 to have their pets destroyed before police implement a killing campaign of all dogs, even those already vaccinated by their owners.

“Rabies is a serious matter, but local, provincial, and national government officials in China must recognize that vaccination campaigns are the most effective way to ensure public safety now and in the future,” said Andrew Rowan, Ph.D., chief executive officer of HSI. “Killing animals indiscriminately like this is unnecessary and inexcusable, especially if they’re already vaccinated.”

Pointing to successes in other areas of the world where rabies is common, HSI maintains that a campaign to raise the percentage of vaccinated animals is the best way for Chinese authorities to address the perceived threat of rabies.

The dog eradication programs have been the subject of numerous open protests within China. “The culling campaigns are in direct conflict with the emergence of a pet-keeping culture in China,” Rowan added. “Solutions are needed that respect the increasing importance of the human-animal bond in a growing number of Chinese households.”

During the past year, HSI has led U.S.-based protests against the mass killing of dogs, written letters to Chinese officials, staged a peaceful demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington and agreed to cosponsor a conference on rabies in China later this year. A separate conference on companion animal care in China is scheduled for November.

Facts

  • The World Health Organization has stated that indiscriminate mass killing is not a means of effective animal control and supports vaccination programs for rabies prevention.
  • HSI is working in India, Nepal, and Indonesia to develop humane animal control programs that include sterilization and rabies vaccination.
  • Pet ownership is on the rise in China, with an estimated 150 million pet dogs.

Timeline

  • July 2006: First reports of a mass killing of 50,000 dogs in Yunnan Province, China.
  • August 2, 2006: HSUS/HSI executives write to Chinese ambassador to protest culling.
  • August 6, 2006: HSUS/HSI executives writes to Chinese ambassador with offer of $100,000 and expert counsel to launch vaccination program in Shandong Province, where another cull is announced.
  • August 10, 2006: HSUS/HSI demonstrate in front of Chinese Embassy, DC.
  • November 2006: Beijing implements “one dog” policy to “combat rabies,” affecting all households with two or more dogs and any dog more than 35 centimeters.
  • November 15, 2006: HSUS/HSI sends letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez to urge his intervention during his China visit on misguided one-dog policy.
  • December 2006: Chinese President Hu Jintao halts national crackdown on dogs due to international protest.
  • January 2007: U.S. House of Representatives Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) call on China to reform dog cull policies.

original report from Humane Society International

One Response to “Humane Society Condemns the Slaughter of Dogs in China”

  1. It will be interesting to see if the government goes through with this. I am betting there will be enough of an upcry in China that it will not. We will see.

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