China slaughters more than 50,000 dogs in Yunnan province

All because three people in the region died of rabies in the past four months. This is a strange story indeed.

A county in southwest China has ordered all 50,546 dogs to be killed in an effort to fight a rabies outbreak that has caused the deaths of three people, state media has said. Around 90 percent of the dogs in Muding county, Yunnan province, had already been killed since the campaign began on July 25, the Beijing News said.

Owners were ordered to kill their pets or face having teams of local police and other enforcement officers kill them, it said. Even the 4,292 dogs in the county that had been immunized against rabies were ordered put to death, as authorities said the immunizations were not 100 percent effective, the report said.

From January through July, 360 people in the county had been bitten by dogs, with the three human deaths occurring since April, the Beijing Times said. Some owners have used methods including hanging their dogs, electrocuting them and clubbing them to death, while others used drugs, the Beijing News said.

Dog owwners had been compensated five yuan (60 cents) each for the loss of their pets.

A reporter for the Beijing News who visited the county said one woman was told by dog-elimination squads patrolling the streets that her dog had to be killed. She covered her eyes as the patrollers beat her dog to death.

To prevent dog owners from violating the order, roadside checkpoints had been set up to inspect vehicles for dogs, the Beijing News said. Any dogs found were immediately killed at the scene.

I don’t know. Something about this sure doesn’t sound right to me. I mean, couldn’t they have vaccinated and then quarantined the dogs? Yeah, I know, they might not have the infrastructure in place to quarantine 50,000 dogs, especially out in the countryside, but is there really no alternative to mass slaughter?

Found on the Internet’s best forum.


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 78 Comments

I couldn’t agree more with Andy’s statement… thanks for that!

Some people may not love dogs, or most animals. But come on people – the means they used is downright wrong.

All I can say is that I am really glad that I don’t live in China, because I would probably be in jail if someone took one of my dogs and beat them to death in front of me.

August 3, 2006 @ 5:32 pm | Comment

This is disgusting! It makes me sick! These cruel people! I say I go up my block, and knock on all the doors, if a chinese person answers, I will beat them and their families to death with a bat, and then leave .60 cents for each person on the door step. You know, since our area is over populated with chinese, you know it would make sense…….

August 3, 2006 @ 10:37 pm | Comment


One more time. Anger is understandable. Strong emotions are understandable. But this isn’t LGF here. Hate speech is not acceptable.

August 4, 2006 @ 12:02 am | Comment

That last comment by “brandon” scans like it was written by a Chinese person.

August 4, 2006 @ 12:37 am | Comment

Ivan, I agree.

Whoever wrote it, it’s ugly. Though not as bad as the one I had to edit.

August 4, 2006 @ 1:34 am | Comment

IP address is Canadian…who knows. Truly disgusting and reprehensible.

August 4, 2006 @ 1:44 am | Comment


August 4, 2006 @ 4:21 am | Comment




August 4, 2006 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

Dear “LD”, and “Bloodyhackxsawx”, the last two commenters here:

Please do not attempt to make any provacateur posts on the internet unless and until you have been trained properly by China’s intelligence services. Which, for you, will obviously never happen.

You do a great disservice to the REAL Chinese intelligence agents like Bingfeng, when you post such transparently provocative comments in your misguided attempts to seem like “Chinese patriots”. Although I’m not 100 percent sure that you’re Chinese, but that’s really beside the main point.

I do not agree with everything that the Chinese spies post on this blog, but I do have some respect for their intelligence, and I don’t like it when wannabe spies like you come around and try to act like provacateurs without knowing the first thing about the game.

Your mother is calling you. Now go away and leave us grown-ups alone.

August 4, 2006 @ 12:57 pm | Comment

I have spent alot of time in China and the chinese people are great. Just like everywhere there are good and bad people.

However this is typical of a government that has been historically careless and callous. Its one thing to put animals to death for a reason but to take them from their owners and beat them to death in the street? What does this do to young children watching this. It was not too long ago in the cultural revolution that people were beaten in the streets.

Remember the cover up for Sars. In Shanghai they play a recording not to give homeless money as there way to deal with homeless people. When a man set himself on fire in front of a government building the response was to place a fire extinguisher outside.

China has alot of challenges as a society. The government advertising callous brutality as an answer to a problem only makes things worse. It perpetuates the image of China as a brutal country and sends the message through society that people have no rights to protect themselves or their property.

August 4, 2006 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

this is insanity!!!! if they want to rid their country of rabies, vaccinate the dogs or the people!!!! to kill dogs in front of their owners is nothing more than torture for both. obviously if the dogs were living with owners and the owners did not show signs of rabies then the dogs were not infected. how do you just kill 50.000 dogs or kill 50,000 anything for that matter. do they have no souls?

August 4, 2006 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

Interestingly, a new journalist blogger speculates that the dog massacre may prompt larger anti-government actions in China:

many Chinese believe the government acted in a cold-hearted manner, letting the rabies outbreak grow out of hand, then punishing dog owners with a wanton slaughter.
While television newscasts portray the dog cull as a responsible government reaction to thwart an epidemic, radio call-in shows have portrayed the flip side, drawing fervent opinions from callers who say the dog slaughter was an over-reaction…
…Chinese in the big cities are passionate about their dogs, paying huge municipal fees to keep them. Perhaps the intense interest in this story is because it has the potential to spark broader outrage over government action.
Under China’s brittle political system, such small protests can easily flare into something larger.

August 5, 2006 @ 12:16 am | Comment

Today’s London Times reports that they’re planning to extend the slaughter to around half a million dogs.

August 5, 2006 @ 1:01 am | Comment

“Disgusting” doesn’t begin to cover it.

Here’s an excerpt from the article Ivan mentioned:

Zhang Luping, founder of the Beijing Human and Animal Environmental Education Centre, said the culling should stop: “This really damages our national image and sets a really bad example to show how lazy and inconsiderate those local government officials are.” Cases of rabies are on the rise in China, with more than 2,500 people reported to have died of the disease in 2004. Only 3 per cent of China’s dogs are vaccinated.

It goes on to talk about the popularity of dogs and pets in urban China, saying that there are 400,000 dogs in Beijing alone. Here’s a link to the article.

I have to wonder if that reporter is right. First piss off the peasants and the unemployed and the disenfranchised. Then piss off the middle and upper middle classes. Way to encourage social harmony, guys!

August 5, 2006 @ 1:11 am | Comment

I’m beginning to wonder how the 5 RMB bounty might be figuring into all of this.

Just think: If you’re one of the Communist Pigs who has the authority to use all of that money, then why not kill as many dogs as possible and then lie about how the owners “voluntarily” gave up half a million dogs, and then keep 2.5 million RMB for yourself? Or something like that, perhaps with the numbers a bit more widely spread and shared among several Communist Pigs.

August 5, 2006 @ 2:15 am | Comment


August 5, 2006 @ 4:25 am | Comment

The asians treat all animal life as nothing.. No respect for the pain and suffering of animals.. Kill them quick and treat them with respect.. I have no respect for these people.. Everyone will be judged one day.. I feel bad for asians, because they will have to answer for the their sick actions against all creatures

August 5, 2006 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

By the way you can email me about my thoughts

August 5, 2006 @ 6:05 pm | Comment

This article shows just how stupid, cruely, and useless the chinese government is. They so dumb they start killing out of fear because they are intelligence enough to understand how rabies works. The government serves no purposes except to spew hatrage, pain, and misery on everything in the world. This government will have to change or eventually be destroyed. They deserve nothing else.

August 6, 2006 @ 8:53 am | Comment

Where were these commenters for the numerous PD posts when *people* got beat up in China? Or the Abu Ghraib stuff? Or any other atrocities Richard has talked about? Yknow, the ones involving human life?

I love dogs, but when the abuse of dogs makes you more outraged than the abuse of people… I mean, you should at least have an equal amount of moral outrage, dontcha think?

August 6, 2006 @ 9:19 am | Comment

“…but is there really no alternative to mass slaughter?”

Let just put it this way: there really is no cheaper alternative to mass slaughter. It saves money, and it saves human lives. So it is all good.

For all you opportunists who have posted the “all Asian people suck” messages, let me remind you that in Canada, the Great White Men (behold!) club 330,000-plus newborn baby seal pups to death every year. It is not even for saving human lives. It is strictly for the furs and profits. And it is sanctioned by the Canadian government. You can Google that.

But hey, we are Asians. We prefer to stay out of other people’s business that does not concern us. We do not have an obsession with power or an urge to dominate, control or tell other “lesser” people how to behave or what to do for their own good.

I fully support the White men in Canada. I say whack all the dogs and seals. We all be clubbin’!

August 8, 2006 @ 3:32 am | Comment

Just got a quote from our doctor. Rabie vaccine, not covered by insurance (I am in US), a series of 3 shots with each shot costing $150, for our family of 3, it will cost a little under $1500 US. Vaccinate all dogs, please. Where is the money? I am sure glad the outbreak is not here. I know not every one in the States can offered $500 each person vaccine. Plus, even if vaccinated, complicated workup is still needed. Meaning, expensive..
Fact: 70% of household in CHina own dogs
90% of rabie cases in China are spread by dogs
3% vaccinated
There is 1.3 billion people in that country, and a LOT of dogs!!

August 8, 2006 @ 8:45 pm | Comment

Do they have to beat people’s beloved pets to death in front of their eyes? Also, rabies vaccine is not nearly that expensive. Rabies shots – not vaccine – are.

August 8, 2006 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

Yep, as I thought, getting a dog vaccinated for rabies costs from $6 USD to $15 USD (pdf file). It would be a lot of fun exposing the BS people try to pass off here to excuse anything and everything that takes place in China – iif it weren’t so depressing.

August 8, 2006 @ 11:15 pm | Comment

hey, what do you expect from a country that slaughters their daughters too. Anyone that thinks this okay is scum.

August 10, 2006 @ 7:44 pm | Comment

some of you people are fucking idiots, saying “i hate chinese people.” what the hell do you rednecks know about life in the chinese countryside? do you know what an outbreak – of anything – does to a rural place with no infrastructure? westerners are too used to the excess of wealth and help in their society that they can’t recognize that maybe domesticating animals carries some heartbreaking risks. enough chinese people die needlessly as a result of corruption and incompetence, they don’t needle western-world MEDDLERS making their situation any worse. if it means improving the state of things for HUMANS, in china, fry another 100,000 dogs. think with your brain, not your uninformed emotions (which are by the way not where they should be).

August 15, 2006 @ 11:25 am | Comment

I will agree that the comments assailing the Chinese people are stupid. However, it’s not just Western meddling – millions of Chinese people across the country are outraged over this, even more than we are.

August 15, 2006 @ 5:12 pm | Comment

Killing or abandoning female children and beating dogs to death in the street in front of their owners is immoral. “Western mentality” has nothing to do with whether or not they are murderers.

August 31, 2006 @ 4:25 pm | Comment

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