Archive for Saturday, August 5, 2006

Rabies deaths spur another dog slaughter

August 5, 2006

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— For the second time in days, Chinese authorities have ordered a mass slaughter of dogs to curb a rabies outbreak - drawing criticism from animal lovers but also support from many who say it's the only way to contain a disease that kills more than 2,000 Chinese a year.

Officials in the eastern city of Jining plan to kill all dogs within three miles of areas where rabies has been found, the official Xinhua News Agency said Friday.

The measure came in response to the deaths of 16 people from rabies in Jining in the last eight months, Xinhua said. It said the city had about 500,000 dogs.

Rabies cases are on the rise in China, with 2,651 reported deaths from the disease in 2004, the last year for which data was available. Only 3 percent of the country's dogs are vaccinated against rabies.

Last week, a county in southwestern Yunnan province killed 50,000 dogs, many of them beaten to death in front of their owners, after three people died of rabies.

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