Dogs Destroyed After China Quake

May 20, 2008 at 4:16 am Leave a comment

From the Adelaide Sunday Mail:

A Chinese county has launched a drive to cull ownerless and hungry dogs threatening public health after the deadliest earthquake to hit the country in more than three decades, state media said today.

The quake that rocked the southwestern province of Sichuan on May 12 had killed more than 34,000 people as of today.  The government says it expects the toll to eventually rise to more than 50,000.

In Qingchuan county, where more than 2,670 people have died, authorities have ordered the  culling of dogs to protect residents and guard against epidemics, the official Xinhua news agency said.  “Most of the dogs in the county have not been fed by anyone and have been wandering around since the earthquake,” Xinhua quoted local officials as saying.  “They are prone to scramble for food with humans … and to bite people and spread diseases.”  The dogs will be disinfected and buried deep in the soil according to Xinhua.

Meanwhile in other news from Xinhua:

As time runs out for survivors, rescue workers are pinning their hopes on dogs to guide men and machines to trapped people.

 In Dujiangyan, a rescue team with seven dogs from Shandong province has soldiered on for almost 80 straight hours since last Tuesday and almost scoured the entire city.   Many dogs have suffered injuries on their mouths or paws by broken glass, steel bars or nails in the debris. Typically, their keepers and they have a couple of hours’ nap a day in a tent and then get back to work.

The situation is utterly heart-breaking.  The loss of life and livelihood is devastating.  As our hearts go out to the human victims of the quake we also pray that officials do what they can to help animal victims.  Sadly, the Chinese government has had a history of mass dog killings in recent years.  We hope that those horrific scenes aren’t repeated and that officials find a way to protect human lives without the needless sacrifice of thousands of innocent dogs.

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Entry filed under: dog, dogs, health, pet, pets, rescue. Tags: , , .

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