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Beijing Institutes One-Dog Policy In Effort to Fight Rabies

With the hopes of reducing rabies in a country where 318 people died from the disease in September alone, China has made a bold move to ban households to one dog in nine areas of the country. This raises many questions, not the least of which include what will happen to those dogs that exceed the limit and how successful such a ban will actually be in curbing the rise in those suffering from rabies.

The official Xinhua news agency reports,”Only one pet dog is allowed per household in the zones, and dangerous and large dogs will be banned. Anyone keeping an unlicensed dog will face prosecution.” In August, attempts were made to deal with the rabies outbreak in the southwestern Chinese county of Mouding where 54,429 dogs were massacred.

Several animal advocacy groups in the US have weighed in on the issue as reported by the New York Times, including the Humane Society of the United States and PETA.:

“The Humane Society of the United States said the Chinese policy failed to address the underlying reason for the rabies crisis. The focus should be on rabies vaccination rather than a limitation on the number of dogs in a household,” said Wayne Pacelle, the organization’s president and chief executive. “Large-scale vaccination programs aimed at reducing and eradicating rabies programs do work in large nations.”

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said the policy might prevent people from acquiring more dogs than they could care for. It’s sad that it comes to this,” she said, “but for the dogs’ sake, restricting people to one dog stops impulse acquisition, encourages better care and will reduce the numbers who are suffering on the streets.””

Additionally, dog owners will be banned from taking their dogs to many public places including markets, parks, shops, and sightseeing areas.

1 Comment

  1. Comment by

    C Pots

    on #

    Not sure if you followed up on this, but after hundreds of Beijing dog-owners protested (by hitting the streets and defying one of the scariest regimes in the world), President and Chairman Hu Jintao officially called off any more dog-culling for the time being. (Who knows what will happen later; the Olympics has really accelerated an “image” campaign in Beijing that has had dreadful consequences in all areas of life). There really hasn’t been a single protest with such direct results in recent memory. This was a huge victory for animal rights in China — that went fairly well unnoticed and uncelebrated by animal rights orgs in the West.

    HSUS, PETA and others — bless their hearts — are pretty clueless when it comes to China (for lack of resources, not lack of concern), so we’re kind of missing the picture there.

    Also, we need to stop labeling “China” as “China” — it’s a big, complex country that is ruled at the provincial, county and village levels. “Made In China” is about as specific as “Made On Earth” these days. If there’s something horrible going on in LIaoning Province, well, the headline should read Liaoning! Not just China. We need to know more specifically WHERE things are happening there, so the media here will report the incidents more accurately. The more accurate and precise we are, the more helpful it will be for AR activists and vegans in China. (Often, the only source of news on AR stories is Western media.)

    Also, Vegans in America, please make an effort to make Chinese friends; they need your support and community and experience! (If you’re planning a trip to Beijing, pack some Farm Sanctuary or other videos with you before you go. They will be much appreciated!)

    In fact, I have a suggestion for a fundraiser: Organize some meetups to view the excellent film by Ning Ying, “On the Beat” (1995), about a dog roundup similar to the one that just happened in many cities in China. Perhaps some monies raised could be donated to a great organization called Animals Asia Foundation, which does angelic work in China on behalf of bears and other animals.

    Keep up the good work, Super Vegans!

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