You know the Beijing city government is worried about its images leading up the Olympics, because it recently invited Chinese and foreign journalists to visit the dog impounding facilities it’s set up for all the unlicensed dogs they’ve caught in their recent campaign against rabies, biting, and dog shit:
Officials also took several dozen Chinese and foreign journalists to inspect a dog pound on the outskirts of the city where about 600 abandoned, oversized and confiscated dogs are housed. The tour was an apparent attempt to ease public anger over the campaign, which dog owners and animal-rights groups say is cruel.
Critics say owners should be given more time to register their dogs or find them new homes and argue that the ban on dogs larger than 14 inches is arbitrary. They say aggressive breeds should be banned instead. The city also bans households from having more than one dog.
It seems one of the reporters taken to visit these places was Graeme Baker of the Telegraph. He ends his report on a skeptical note:
However, Jill Robinson, head of Aminals Asia, a Hong Kong-based charity, said: “The government has to take some responsibility for the fact that the rules been ignored. There are pet shops and pet markets all over the place, that are selling large-size dogs and no one has cracked down,” she said.
But what of the dogs? A few dozen a month find new homes with “approved” owners, some bigger ones leave the city, but many more are simply put down.
Sina has a new feature called Pros and Cons (our translation) where you get to “vote” on an issue: for, against, or neutral. There’s a brief explanation of each position in case you’re not sure what your position would be considered.
The result of the Sina survey shows that over 70 percent of people are against the new crackdown and laws, while less than a quarter of people are for it.
Recently, nine prominent scholars and intellectuals wrote a letter saying that the “uncivilized” raising of dogs was the problem. We didn’t read their letter in depth, but it seems they are sick and tired of stepping in dog shit. We don’t know if they are fully in support of the city government’s every measure, including the ones limiting the heights of dogs or even the one dog policy. If all you are against is uncivilized behavior, well, that’s like being against spitting phlegm or jaywalking, which is fine—but what point are you throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
UPDATE: We have been told that a representative from the Beijing chapter of the International Fund for Animal Welfare announced at last night’s Shanghai Second Chance Animal Aid meeting that authorities have informed them the crackdown will end by the middle of the month. We hope they are correct.
UPDATE 2: The SCMP says President Hu has stepped in and halted the crackdown.
Movie short about the SCAA by Nice Shot Productions.