Beijing vaccinates 550,000 dogs against rabies

Updated: 2006-12-12 09:06

BEIJING -- All the 550,323 registered dogs in Beijing have received anti-rabies inoculations, the municipal agriculture bureau said on Monday.

Liu Yaqing, vice director of the bureau, said 319 anti-rabies inoculation stations had been opened in the capital to offer free inoculations for all registered dogs.

Deng Xiaohong, another bureau vice director, said Beijing has recorded 12 rabies cases by November 15.

Eleven cases involved non-Beijing residents who came to seek medical help in the city. The only case involving a Beijinger was bitten by a dog which had been brought to the city from outside.

This means the vaccination of dogs has paid off, said Deng.

Deng said that more than 118,000 people had received anti-rabies inoculations in Beijing after being bitten or scratched by dogs or cats by mid-November, up 22 percent on the previous year.

Deng said Beijing had also set up 45 anti-rabies clinics to provide 24 hour medical assistance to those bitten by dogs.

However, experts believe there are around one million dogs in the city, which means the city authorities' job is only half done.

Police in Beijing have implemented a "one-dog policy" - one family is only allowed one dog - and banned dangerous dogs or dogs taller than 35 cm, such as Dobermans, Saint Bernards and Great Danes.

Rabies accounted for 326, or 46 percent of all fatalities caused by infectious diseases reported on the Chinese mainland in October, according to the Ministry of Health.

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