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Beijing Tidies Kennels over Rabies Concerns
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Beijing is cleaning up its dog kennels in the wake of rabies outbreaks in other parts of the country. Officials also said stray dogs pose the greatest threat of spreading the disease.

The Beijing Municipal Agriculture Bureau will inspect kennels and check the registration of pet dogs in an effort to prevent a rabies outbreak.

"Stray animals are the biggest threat of a rabies outbreak because we cannot guarantee they have been vaccinated," an official with the farming and veterinary department said.

The public security department will adopt homeless animals and deal with them after confirming they are stray. But the official did not say what will be done with the animals.

The bureau is also warning pet owners who have not yet registered their dogs that their animals must be vaccinated against rabies.

Dog kennels are required to be at least 500 meters from residential areas and water sources and carry out strict vaccination measures. Rabies attacks the nervous system and can be fatal to humans if not treated quickly.

Mouding County, Yunnan Province, reported the deaths of three people from rabies in July. They died within 10 days of being bitten despite treatment. In response, the community slaughtered 50,000 dogs. Some dogs were beaten to death in front of their owners.

One rabies death has been reported in Beijing this year. The person was bitten by a dog outside the capital.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2006)

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