Tuesday, August 01, 2006

But They're Still An Important Trade Partner

Communism, human rights violations, and pollution aren't enough to earn China the same kind of ire we reserve for real threats like, say, Cuba.

But how about this nugget of government activism in one rural county: they've beaten to death 50,000 dogs after three people died of rabies (if you're a sensitive type, don't follow the link, don't look at the photos):

A county in southwestern China has killed as many as 50,000 dogs in a government campaign ordered after three people died from rabies, official media reported Tuesday.

The five-day massacre in Yunnan province's Mouding county spared only military guard dogs and police canine units, the Shanghai Daily reported, citing local media.

Dogs being walked were taken from their owners and beaten on the spot, the newspaper said. Other killing teams entered villages at night, creating noise to get dogs barking, then honing in and beating them to death.

Owners were offered 63 cents per animal to kill their dogs before the teams were sent in, the report said.
I hate that sometimes animals in danger incite more outrage than human suffering or death. Maybe it's just because we can empathize better with animal suffering - to deal with human death is simply too taxing, so we take what we can handle when Fluffy heads for that great cat tree in the sky. Then again, in this case, even allowing for the challenges facing rural, presumably poor Chinese local governments, this sort of action seems beyond the pale. Beaning roving Rovers, okay, maybe - but people's pets snatched from their leashes? And it's government sponsored. Oh boy.


Anonymous said...

I should point out that Chinese treatment of pets has actually gotten a lot better in past 5 years. Many more Beijingers, for example, now own dogs. I never saw them when I lived there as a CMC student abroad, but now they are everywhere, being walked by their newly middle class owners. Also, there are even animal rights groups now in China, something that was unheard of just a few years ago. My guess is that these groups will have something to say about this - and may (or may not)have some success.

Anyhow, certainly not defending this - dispicable - but just to add some perspective.

Anonymous said...

No worse than us with foot and mouth. I think that it was about 3.5million culled in the end. Although I don't think that we beat them to death!



Anonymous said...

And weren't they sheep, farm animals, etc, getting butchered over that disease, john? not quite the same as grabbing Fido out of your arms and bludgeoning him to death in front of the fam.