A Chinese district government has given dog owners a dramatic choice: they need get rid of their pet or Chinese Communist Party officials will come inside the home and kill them.
“No person is permitted to keep a dog of any kind,” reads a notice from police posted on gateposts on apartment blocks, per The Guardian.
The notices were spotted at the Dayang New District in the eastern city of Jinan.
Pet owners should “deal with it,” or otherwise, “the committee will organize people to enter your home and club the dog to death right there.”
Regional governments have killed stray animals before, but Dayang’s order also covers dogs that have been registered and vaccinated.
Dog owners in the area were obviously outraged, as the rule seems extreme, according to Shanghaiist.
— FEMAgulag (@FEMAgulag) December 29, 2014
It’s unacceptable,” one villager was quoted as saying. “Many residents here keep dogs and have an animal license. They cannot kill my dog and have absolutely no right to storm into my house without permission.”
Culls often follow outbreaks of rabies, a disease that kills about 2,000 Chinese each year, but the order cites only the maintenance of environmental hygiene and “everyone’s normal lives” as reasons.
People who answered calls Friday at the district government office said no one was available to discuss the matter.
An unidentified worker from the Dayang village committee interviewed by a local television station insisted the order was the will of the majority of the district’s more than 1,000 residents.
“Dogs are always defecating all over the place and bothering people. A lot of people were complaining so we wrote a public notice to avoid a conflict,” the man said.
In Chengdu, officials previously banned residents from owning 22 breeds of dogs, including Tibetan Mastiffs and German Shepherds. In Suichan Province’s Huidong, local government officials prohibit dogs from going into the public, and it said officials would kill any strays. Police in Suichan have been photographed beating dogs to death on the street in front of crowds of people.
Last December, in Shijiazhuang, a city in Hebei Province, photographs were published online showing a mob of people–including local police officers–beating two Tibetan Mastiffs to death. The dogs belonged to a local villager who used them to guard his flock of sheep.
With additional reporting from The Associated Press.