Dog cull inhumane, ineffective - update

Aug 7, 2006

Another local government in China is planning a controversial mass cull of dogs in an attempt to tackle recent outbreaks of rabies. 16 people are reported to have died from the disease this year, declared officials in the eastern Shandong Province.

It is reported that authorities plan to destroy all dogs within an approximate 3 mile radius of the 16 villages where rabies had been found.This suggests that approximately half a million dogs are under threat.

This latest report comes just days after 50,000 dogs were killed over a five-day period in Mouding County, China. See the article below for more information.

‘‘WSPA is lobbying the Chinese Government to implement a humane rabies control program that adheres to the World Health Organization's (WHO) best practice," states Dr Elly Hiby, WSPA's  Companion Animals Director.

Earlier Story

More than 50,000 dogs have been killed over a five-day period in Mouding County, China. The killings are in response to an outbreak of rabies in the county, which includes the death of a four-year old girl.

Rabies a global problem

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, rabies is a problem across much of the globe. Globally, Asia has some of the highest numbers of human deaths from rabies.

Regions that have been successful in reducing the number of human rabies cases have done so through mass vaccination campaigns involving government and community support.

Mass culling ineffective

The indiscriminate killing of tens of thousands of dogs is as ineffective as it is cruel. Rabies experts from the WHO have concluded that: “Dog destruction alone is not effective in rabies control.”

Even worse, the BBC reports 4,000 of the dogs killed were vaccinated against rabies. This type of reactionary response will undermine community participation in any future vaccination campaign the government may undertake.

Cruel killing must end

According to BBC reports, some dogs were taken from their owners and beaten to death in front of them while others were electrocuted or poisoned by their owners, to avoid a similar fate.

WSPA calls for an end to the cruel and ineffective mass killing of dogs as a reaction to human rabies outbreaks. Instead, successful models of rabies reduction and elimination should be followed.

Read more about WSPA‘s humane stray control programs.


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A dog at WSPA member society KACPAW's clinic, Sri Lanka