An unlinkable story from the South China Morning Post relays the chilling tale of Chongqing municipality’s Wanzhou district, where the local government has ordered that all pet dogs be put to death because a resident died of rabies. Just when you think being a dog owner in China can’t get any scarier …
The Wanzhou district government has issued a directive asking residents in the central city area to have their dogs put down before March 15. Exemptions are government department guard dogs, and those kept by research institutions, the military and for commercial purposes.
The government will cull the dogs, whether they are vaccinated or not, if the residents do not do so before the deadline. Owners will be fined between 200 yuan and 1,000 yuan for every dog found after that date.
Emphasis added by Shanghaiist. The story continues:
The Wanzhou directive, published on the district government’s website,
outlines 16 communities and townships suspected of having rabid dogs,
including Taibai Street where a resident died after being bitten by an
unvaccinated dog last month.
“All the dogs in the area should be killed. A compulsory cull phase will begin after March 16. The forced cull will be carried out by police,” the directive said.
Ran Hua , an official with the district disease control and prevention centre said: “The move is aimed at protecting people’s lives. Wanzhou has not had a reported human case of rabies for the nine years up until last year when three cases were reported. We must do something to prevent the situation from worsening.”
Mr Ran said the cull and fine were in line with Chongqing’s regulations. Residents have voiced strong opposition to the cull but Mr Ran said the killing was necessary to eliminate the threat.
Song Yu, a Wanzhou resident who does not have a pet, said: “I understand the government’s intention to protect people’s lives, but the extreme decision to kill is hard for many of my friends. How can they kill the dogs they’ve been with for a long time with their own hands, especially when their pets have been vaccinated?”
Shanghaiist also understands the government’s intention to protect … their asses. If they would have done their jobs in the first place — educate the public (not just dog owners) about rabies prevention, properly regulate and enforce the vaccination procedure, or … now here’s an idea … actually make the dog licensing and vaccination process easy — thousands of beloved dogs would not be paying with their lives today. And as long as we’re violently overreacting, why stop with dogs? Virtually any animal can carry the virus. Kill ’em all — that’s what we say. And please start with Mr. Ran Hua.
Photo from theshanghaieye.