Shanxi faces dog cull to stamp out rabies

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 September, 2009, 12:00am

A second dog cull is looming in the northern province of Shanxi to help prevent the spread of rabies.

Police in Weinan have announced that the city's residents have a month to obtain permits for their dogs, with those who fail to do so risking having their dogs killed.

Four months ago, about 34,000 dogs were slaughtered in another Shanxi city, Hanzhong, when officials cited the same reason.

Under the latest measure, each family is allowed to keep one small dog. Permits will be issued at public security stations on production of proof of a rabies vaccination.

From October 20, police will begin catching and killing all dogs without permits.

In June, Guangzhou police introduced a similar rule. Families had to turn in extra dogs to police-run pet shelters. Authorities said dogs found without registration would be kept in the shelters rather than killed.

In Weinan, a small dog is defined as weighing less than 5kg. Dogs over that limit are required to be handed over to the police.

Weinan police could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The cull in Hanzhong came after a large rabid dog bit seven people in mid-May.

Worries about rabies prompted an order that all the dogs in rabies-prone areas be killed.

A picture of four men laughing as they cracked the skull of a dog with a bamboo pole appeared on the internet and stirred a furore among pet lovers and advocates on the mainland and worldwide.

Many mainland cities, including Beijing, have long had a limit of one dog per family.

Officials commonly launch culls when dog populations are deemed too large or disease-ridden.