Published Date: 2011-08-04 14:16:07
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Rabies - China (03): (GD) canine, control
Archive Number: 20110804.2350
RABIES - CHINA (03): (GUANGDONG) CANINE, CONTROL
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 4 Aug 2011
Source: Daily Mail [summ., edited]
Rabies outbreak may lead to cull of 30 000 dogs in Chinese city
Concern over rabies cases means that 30 000 dogs in a southern-Chinese
city could be put down.
Authorities in Jiangmen [Guangdong province] have banned the ownership
of pet dogs and have given residents until 26 Aug 2011 to re-house
them, or they will be killed.
However, animal rights are becoming increasingly important in China
and the move has led to vocal criticism, with one disease expert
describing it as inhumane and unnecessary.
Officials issued a declaration, called The Notice on Strengthening the
Management of Dogs, which stated that residents must re-home their
dogs between 10 and 25 Aug 2011. After that, officers will confiscate
dogs and scour public places for them and put them down.
A policeman told Chinadaily.com: "Our aim is not to kill all the dogs
in the city's urban areas, but we hope to create a better environment
for the city by banning the keeping of dogs. And we hope dog owners
and residents can understand and cooperate with law enforcement
Only people who use dogs to protect property worth more than 5m yuan
(USD 776 665) will be exempt.
Even then, the dogs must be [vaccinated] and kept locked up.
Newspaper The Jiangmen Daily reminded readers that 42 residents had
died from rabies in the past 3 years and Li Wantong, technology
director at an animal disease control centre in Jiangmen, reassured
animal lovers that the dogs would be euthanised humanely.
But the new measure still raised the hackles of locals, with Wang
Chengzhi telling Chinadaily.com that "it is not fair to the city's dog
owners and does not respect life."
Meanwhile, one expert fumed that apart from being cruel, culling huge
numbers of dogs will not have any long-term benefit.
Dr Tang Qing of the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and
Prevention at China's Centre for Disease Control told The Guardian:
"This [ban] is not scientific, not humane, and it will not last long.
In short term, maybe it could be effective, but after that, people
still want to keep dogs."
Another expert, Dr Kati Loeffler, a consultant vet for the
International Fund for Animal Welfare in China is convinced that only
mass [vaccination] would prove effective.
One Jiangmen Daily reader was all for the ban, however, telling the
paper: "[Dog] excrement is everywhere in the courtyard and parks, and
their barking always disrupts my sleep."
Over 2400 people are killed by rabies a year in China, according to
the Ministry of Health.
[Byline: Ted Thornhill]
[According to a ministerial report (2009, see ProMED-mail archive no
20090927.3379) more than 40 million people in the Chinese mainland are
attacked by animals annually. The Ministry of Health also said China
is one of the countries most threatened by rabies. Only India has a
higher number of rabies-related fatalities than the average annual
2400 figure reported in China.
OIE's Terrestrial Animal Health Code includes chapter 7.7, titled
"Stray dog population control"; see at
The preamble includes the following statement:
"Human health, including the prevention of zoonotic diseases, notably
rabies, is a priority. Dog population management is an integral part
of rabies control programmes. Furthermore, the OIE recognises the
importance of controlling dog populations without causing unnecessary
animal suffering. Veterinary Services should play a lead role in
preventing zoonotic diseases and ensuring animal welfare and should be
involved in dog population control, coordinating their activities with
other competent public institutions and/or agencies".
Article 7.7.6. thereof deals with detailed "control measures".
A global conference on rabies control, organised by the OIE in
collaboration with FAO and WHO, is due to be held in Seoul, Republic
of Korea, from 7 to 9 Sep 2011. The conference will give priority to
good governance regarding the distribution of public and private,
local, national, and international resources targeted at priority
prevention actions, to be taken initially in animals, in collaboration
with public health services. - Mod.AS]
[Maps of China can be seen at http://healthmap.org/r/16y6 and
http://www.sacu.org/maps/provmap.png. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]
[It is not clear what "re-house"and "re-home" mean in this report. It
can't mean just keeping them indoors, because all ownership is
forbidden excepy for watchdogs at millionaire's residences. --