County in Yunnan Exterminates 50,000 Dogs

August 8, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: August 8, 2006 12:00 am

TAIPEI—Following an outbreak of rabies, Muding County in Yunnan Province has ordered all 50,000 dogs to be killed to fight rabies, even the dogs that had been immunized against rabies were put to death.

According to a report by Yunnan-based newspaper Life News, there has been a “Dog Killing Storm” in Muding County because many local residents suffered dog bites this year with three reported deaths, and later it was discovered that those dead were infected with rabies.

To fight the rabies outbreak that had killed three people, the local government ordered the cull in the county. The exceptions were military guard dogs and guard dogs that guard the arms warehouse.

During the last few days, dog killing teams carrying sticks entered to villages, and the sounds of firecrackers and beating of pots could be heard, followed by the sounds of mourning dogs wailing and barking, the report said.

Muding County officials asked dog owners to kill their own dogs first, and then formed a dog killing team to clean up the ones that would escape, in which the people were transferred from the local governments, under the leadership of the director of the County Public Security Bureau. The dog killing team soon extended beyond the county to the towns and villages, and township cadres and village community members also joined the team.

Muding County also set up checkpoints on all the roads from Muding County to outside roads. They checked all vehicles carefully and if they found a dog it would then be killed on the spot.

A villager surnamed Li, who lives in Xiao Cangtun Village, said that his two dogs were lynched two days ago though they appeared very healthy after they had been quarantined.

It was reported that most villagers agreed with killing the dogs because of the threat to public safety, but there were still a few villagers who didn't understand this and hid their dogs in the mountains or farmland.

In this county-wide dog massacre, various ways were employed to kill the dogs—hanging, electrocuting, hitting with a stick. Some even perform euthanasia on dogs by feeding the dogs drugs. To ensure that no dogs escaped, some village cadres entered the villages at midnight and created the noise—firecrackers and the beating of pots—to get dogs barking, and then they followed the sound of the barking and killed those dogs that were “hidden.”