China denies mass killing of dogs
BEIJING, Jan. 12 Kyodo
A Chinese official on Thursday denied media reports alleging that about 1,000 dogs had been mass killed in Guangzhou, capital city of south China’s Guangdong Province, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The report quoted Guo Weimin, director of the Information Office under the State Council, as denying at a press conference that there had been a mass killing of dogs in the streets, saying the media reports are basically ‘incorrect.”
But Guo said dog-raising has caused some social problems in Guangzhou recently, with at least two or three people there being bitten and wounded by dogs each day, which might give rise to rabies.
He said local authorities have ”launched a one-month drive to enhance the management of raising, selling and abandoning dogs in a bid to reduce the possibility for the occurrence of rabies and the number of stray dogs in streets.”
Hong Kong-based Animals Asia has reported on its website that it has received ”hysterical letters from distraught Chinese pet lovers across China who are terrified by some government departments’ new clampdown on unregistered pet dogs.”
”Dogs are being brutally confiscated, in some cases beaten to death in front of their owners, or taken to government pounds and killed in horrendous ways,” it says.
In Guangzhou, where dog meat is sold openly on the street, the license fee to register pet dogs is 10,000 yuan (US$1,235) for the first year and 6,000 yuan per year thereafter — a fee beyond the reach of most pet owners, the group says.
It says government officials are enticing people to report on neighbors with unregistered pet dogs by offering to pay them 10 percent of the fine, while dog killing teams ”are patrolling the cities looking for unregistered dogs.”
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