50,000 dogs killed for rabies prevention
Updated: 2006-08-01 09:59
ON Saturday, a woman was walking her dog - a small white animal she'd had for
a long time - in a Yunnan Province alley.
Several men approached, talked her into handing them the leash and then beat
the dog to death as the owner looked on in horror.
The killing was only a small part of a campaign by Mouding County government
officials to slaughter 50,000 canines between July 25 and Sunday, local media
The campaign was touched off by reports that at least three people had died
recently in the county from rabies and many others had been bitten.
On Saturday, officials said that 90 percent of the dogs had been killed, and
they expected to finish their work on Sunday.
Witnesses indicated the slaughter was often carried with the sort of dramatic
elements found in a grade-B horror film.
Around midnight, shadows would flash along the walls of homes as men carrying
clubs made noises to set the village dogs barking. Homing in on the sounds, the
men would find their quarries, and the barks would be replaced by shrill yelps
as the animals were dispatched.
Only military dogs guarding an ammunition storehouse and police dogs were
allowed to survive.