World / Science & Health

Southwest Chinese city kills nearly 5,000 dogs in anti-rabies campaign

AP

Chinese authorities killed almost 5,000 dogs in one city after blaming five human deaths on rabies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.

The city of Baoshan in southwestern Yunnan province killed 4,900 dogs and vaccinated another 100,000 in its anti-rabies campaign, Xinhua said. The city issued an urgent order calling for authorities to kill stray dogs and tightly regulate the animals.

Local governments often order such widespread dog culls or ban dog ownership to control the spread of rabies. That has sparked outcry from some dog owners and animal rights activists who call for sterilizing and vaccinating dogs rather than killing them.

In 2009, authorities in the northern city of Hanzhong reportedly killed about 37,000 dogs after a rabies outbreak, including clubbing some of the animals to death.