American organisation donates on the condition that China stop killing dogs
The offer of financial help is meant to start a vaccination program in Jining, in the region of Shandong. Here, the authorities killed thousands of dogs last week after sixteen people died from rabies in the last eight months. The Humane Society is donating the money only if China stops the massive killing and accepts the help of the organisation to start a national vaccination program.
The Chinese ministry of agriculture did not want to respond until it had read the Chinese translation of the letter.
In Mouding, a city in the southern region Yunnan, at least fifty thousand dogs were clubbed to death last month after three people had died from rabies. The butchery immediately resulted in sharp criticism in the Chinese state press. The organisation for animal rights, Peta, called for a boycott of Chinese products.
The state newspaper Fazhi Ribao called the slaughter an incredibly cruel, ruthless and lazy way for a government to deal with an epidemic. The state news agency Xinhua, however, wrote in an editorial comment that the killing of the dogs is the only solution to an unpleasant situation.
In China, cases of rabies have increased greatly over the last years, partly because more and more people keep a dog. On the country side 70 percent of the households owns a dog, while only 3 percent of the population is vaccinated against rabies. Last year, 2.375 reported deaths caused by rabies were reported.