“Dog Beating” Squads used in China to Curb Rabies; 35,000 Dogs Killed in Shaanxi Province

July 1, 2009

Another city in China has come under the enforcement of the one-dog per family rule, already in place in Beijing and other cities.  This time it is the affluent city of Guangzhou in Southern China.  This adds to the previous restriction of size: no dogs over 14 inches. The neighbor who turns you in for having an over-sized dogs receives a reward. This is from reporting by Toby Green in The Independent. For the complete article, go here.

Animal activists world wide predictably, understandably protested.

But the worst is yet to come.

To combat a major problem with rabies 35,000 dogs have already been killed in the Shaanxi Province by “dog-beating” teams. Beating the stray and abandoned dogs to death in the street was determined to be the most practical method, according to a government source. A small, positive note can be heard in the news that 360,000 dogs in the countryside will be vaccinated.

The contradictions here are hard for me to wrap my brain around.  A few very elite, extremely pampered dogs wear a fashionable a outfit that changes daily while dog meat is still served at city restaurants.

It’s especially popular in the winter months because it is believed to warm the blood.  Again, predictably, the dog’s penis is considered an aphrodisiac. These are classic example of Magical Thinking.  It’s the same reason people have long believed powdered rhinoceros horn is Nature’s Viagra. Maybe if you take pills shaped like the Empire State Building . . .

Can you imagine the outcry that would occur if in Boston, MA or Atlanta, GA the city government forced pet owners with more than one dog to get rid of the other members of the pack? Then had teams of men catching and beating to death all the strays and abandoned dogs?

We live in world awash in lethal weapons and lethal chemicals. There are simply better ways, more humane ways to cull a mass of dogs. It’s a display of human savagery in my view.  The real long term solution is mandated spay and neuter programs. Of course,  America falls short by this measure, too.

I find it odd that we use the world ‘humane’ when we protest animal sadism. It is only we humans who can choose to behave so badly. What must it do to the minds of the presumably young men who take this job? Or the young man who is attracted to this job?

How do you reconcile all these different attitudes towards dogs all existing simultaneously in the same culture? Dogs in high fashion and dog meat on the dinner plate. Pet dogs considered family members, dogs beaten in the street. China seems like two worlds, modern and ancient existing in the same time and place.

I could give you more inane generalizations like the previous one, but suddenly I am run over by a truck!


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