A Chinese city suburb has set a bounty on dead flies in a bid to promote
public hygiene, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.
Xigong, a district of Luoyang in the central province of Henan, paid out more
than 1,000 yuan ($125) for about 2,000 dead flies on July 1, the day it launched
the scheme with the aim of encouraging cleanliness in residential areas.
"I and colleagues believe it is the best way to push residents to do more for
their living environment," Hu Guisheng, the office chief, was quoted as saying.
The payment scheme is the first of its kind in Luoyang, a city of 1.55
million people which is striving to earn the title of "state-level hygienic
But critics have questioned the benefits of paying 0.5 yuan (seven U.S.
cents) per insect turned in, a scheme which has sparked an on-line debate.
An Internet user said that although the office had good intentions, the
action itself had made the district a laughing stock.
"The key point is the government should encourage residents to clean up the
environment so that no flies can live there, instead of spending money on dead
flies," the Internet user wrote.
China has a history of using unorthodox means to eradicate pests. When Mao
Zedong launched the "Four Pests" campaign during the Great Leap Forward in the
1950s, citizens were ordered to kill flies, mosquitoes, rats and sparrows.
Pest control efforts included banging pots and pans to scare sparrows into
flight and have them eventually drop to earth dead from