Chinese authorities killed over 5,000 dogs in Baoshan in the Yunnan province to combat a rabies outbreak. The disease killed five people over the summer.
Baoshan’s government asked local authorities to kill any stray dogs. Animal rights activists denounced this action, especially since dog ownership is popular among prosperous Chinese. The organizations encouraged people to vaccinate or sterilize the dogs and let them be adopted. Over 100,000 dogs received a rabies vaccine through animal rights organizations.
This is not the first time China has dealt with a rabies outbreak. In 2006, authorities in Mouding “clubbed, hanged or electrocuted almost 50,000 dogs” after a rabies outbreak killed three people. Witnesses said officials grabbed dogs from owners and killed the animals in the street. The government offered owners a $0.81 reward in exchange for their dogs.
In 2009, officials killed 37,000 dogs to stop rabies in Hanzhong. The disease killed thirteen people and 6,000 others received bites and scratches from dogs. Doctors vaccinated 240,000 dogs, but officials still killed many others. Authorities clubbed to death all dogs in Yangxian. People posted the graphic photos afterwards, which caused outrage among animal rights groups.