Aug
06
2006

It gets worse

The other day we reported that 50,000 dogs had been slaughtered in China’s Yunnan province in a bid to curb rabies.

Well, it gets worse: According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Officials in the eastern city of Jining said on Thursday they would kill all dogs within five kilometers (three miles) of villages where rabies was found – and the city has about 500,000 dogs.

Why doesn’t China have a vaccine for rabies? I don’t know. It’s been around since, like, 1885 (really).

What can we do? There may be very little we in the West can do to help, especially in the short term. Although surely awareness of the problem is the first step.

Other ideas:

  • Write to the Chinese Embassy in your country to express your outrage
  • Phone talkback radio and discuss the topic
  • Contact the peak animal welfare bodies in your country (e.g. RSPCA) to see what they are doing
  • Write to Bill Gates and ask him to consider expanding the scope of his charitable works to introducing rabies vaccinations to China

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment.

— Update —
There is an interesting and eloquent (if somewhat long and rambling!) post about all of this over at the big dog blog. Well worth a read if you have time.

Written by Steven in: Dog-related news |

2 Comments »

  • CDaniels

    Which is Worse: China Massacring 50,000 Dogs or U.S. Massacring 90,000 Horses?
    http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire/default.cfm?Action=ReleaseDetail&ID=13437

    There are enough heinous crimes against animals committed in our own neighborhoods. While the dog massacre is terrible, I’m afraid the Chinese will only see complaints by outsiders as hypocritical propaganda, and I fear it might even be counterproductive. Presenting a good example would be a more powerful signal than any email campaign.

    Comment | Fri 18 August, 2006
  • Thanks for this. You raise an interesting and important point.

    My thoughts:

    We report on dog-related stories. So our reporting of this story is not meant to imply that the killing of the dogs is “worse” or “better” than the rabies deaths of the humans, the slaughtering of horses, or anything else. It’s simply an item which is likely to be of considerable interest to dog lovers.

    As a mostly vegetarian (OK, ‘pescetarian’), my conscience is reasonably clear on this; but I have often wondered about people’s outrage at cruelty to dogs or horses, who think nothing of going to KFC for a meal. If you’ve ever seen a truck full of chickens, sheep, or cattle being transported, you couldn’t possibly think that their consumption is humane (yes, there are exceptions – free range, organic, humane farming – but these are of course a miniscule minority).

    As for the press release you referenced… it seems to me there is an emphasis on emotive language, rather than factual information. For example, “…beat them to death in killer pens in broad daylight” – as if killing the animals at night would be more appropriate?

    As for them being “beaten to death” – I can only take this at face value, but I’d be sceptical without seeing an independent news report confirming this. If the animal cruelty laws in the USA are anything like those in Australia – which I imagine they are – there would be fairly strict rules about how animals must be killed.

    Please don’t understand me as trying to defend this horse killing industry in the USA (the adoption programs which Angel Acres sound like a fantastic idea) – but it seems to me there is a difference between a commercial, regulated operation slaughtering horses for meat; and the reports out of China of indiscriminate, inhumane slaughtering of dogs as a strategy for managing a disease which is otherwise preventable.

    Have I got this all wrong? Let’s keep the dialogue going.

    Comment | Fri 18 August, 2006

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