A rabies outbreak involving 10 human cases, has prompted authorities in China’s northwest Shaanxi Province to order a cull that has already seen as many as 30,000 dogs brutally slaughtered on the streets of Hanzhong and surrounding areas.
This is one in 10 of the city’s dogs and numbers are rising. The authorities have blindly continued with the cull, despite receiving solid advice from International and Chinese experts that culls do nothing to eradicate rabies.
Despite best efforts, the dogs are still being brutally hunted down by gangs of men and women wielding bloody sticks, metal hooks and ropes, then heartlessly clubbed to death.
Some of the killers are local men, ordered by the authorities to help in the slaughter. Others are taking part willingly, even laughing as they brutalise the dogs. Some are cherished family pets, while others are strays that have already suffered enough in their cruel, short lives on the streets.
The gutters are running with blood, rotting carcasses scatter streets and waterways, but it’s the hands of the Hanzhong authorities that are stained. The slaughtered dogs were on the streets only because these people still refuse to act on the evidence before their eyes – that the only way to manage stray-dog populations (and therefore rabies and other diseases) is to implement broad vaccination and trap, neuter, release (TNR) programmes.
Over the past two weeks, families have sobbed and fallen to their knees as their beloved dogs were snatched from their arms, roughly collared with rope and beaten to death before their eyes.
Often the dogs wag their tails once or twice and look up pathetically between careless heavy blows to the face, head and spine. The dogs’ cries are spine-chilling.
Some animal lovers have formed an organisation to lobby their local authorities to adopt stray-dog management measures.
Other municipalities are listening. Just last month, Animals Asia – along with other animal-welfare groups – was able to convince officials in Hehei, Heilongjiang Province to abandon a similar cull.
Dawn Hawkins of Scissal added “ Animal Asia have done wonderful work in China and are passionate about their work with the animals and people they are trying to help. Scissal has supported Animal Asia in the past and feel this is such a dire situation that needs urgent help to assist their vital TNR programmes”.
Please help raise funds!
Animal Asia urgently need funds to equip local groups with the materials and information they need to convince their local governments to work with them to continue the Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) programmes.
To Donate, go to www.animalsasia.org and click on the Donate to Dog Cull Appeal button.