Dog cullings China continue
Dog culling as a response to human rabies incidences is still common practice throughout China. 56 Chinese cities had conducted large scale dog culling operations at least once in the last five years.
In July 2011 the local government of Jiangmen city, Guangdong province, issued a ban on all pet dogs in city areas. An estimated 30,000 dogs had to be dropped off at a remote area to be either adopted by rural residents or killed. Only guard dogs would escape that fate.
Concerned dog owners in Jiangmen and animal supporters from all over the country, however, didn’t settle for the ban and began a massive protest. In the meantime, ACTAsia took immediate action and sent the Jiangmen authorities our report and recommendations on more effective and humane methods of rabies control, together with a letter signed by over fifty Chinese animal protection groups to oppose their plan.
Pressurised by the public and various organisations, both nationally and outside China, the authorities amended their policy. The ban on keeping dogs was lifted. Dogs could stay with their families, but were not allowed in public areas. Also, a dog keeping rule has been implemented to reduce the number of unwanted dogs and incidences of dog bites.
ACTAsia’s Mona Lung gave a presentation on ‘Why culling does not work’ at the 3rd China dog management symposium 2011
Mass vaccination instead of mass culling
We are encouraged by this development, but are still concerned that confiscation and killing of dogs could happen in public spaces. This could also encourage other areas in China to come up with draconian measures again, as rabies remains a problem in China. Experts agree that large-scale culling is not the solution, besides being extremely cruel to both dogs and their owners. Attention should be shifted towards mass vaccination of dogs and public education.
ACTAsia continues to work towards implementing humane control and stray animal management programmes, in collaboration with local authorities, veterinarians and animal welfare groups.