A one-month campaign has begun to reduce the number of dogs in
public places in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.
But already there is concern, especially from animal
protectionists, about the move which allows dogs to be killed.
According to the Nanjing Public Security Bureau, which launched
the campaign yesterday, special police officers will be found in
public gardens, squares, and major streets to capture and kill
wandering dogs which are not with owners.
The campaign comes after dogs bit many people and thousands of
residents came forward to be vaccinated against rabies.
City regulations ban owners from bringing their pet dogs to
public places and disturbing other people.
The rules state that all dogs which enter public areas without a
proper reason such as medical treatment or a public performance can
be killed by public security bureaus or other units entrusted with
However, officials from the police bureau said the campaign will
not kill domestic dogs roaming public places. Instead, owners will
receive warnings and fines between 300 (US$37.5) and 1,000 (US$125)
The campaign has met with strong objections from animal rights
"Homeless dogs which roam the streets have often already been
abused by irresponsible former owners. What we should do is to save
them from hunger and provide them with a safe home. How can some
people come up with the idea of slaughtering them?" said Yang Xi, a
student at Nanjing University who often feeds wild dogs and cats on
Yang suggested calling for more volunteers to raise such dogs
instead of killing them.
People like Yang say it is not the innocent dogs but
irresponsible owners who cause the current chaos.
"They pay no attention to the dog's life and the feeling of the
people around them. It is disgusting to see them dragging along a
dirty little dog everywhere," said Qiu Shukui, a manager for a
computer sales company, who has a pet dog.
However, many people, especially those who do not own dogs, said
they welcomed the campaign.
"Those dogs affect our lives greatly with their biting, barking
late at night, and their faeces discharged everywhere. It is time
to put a stop to it," said Gao Yanping, a 41-year-old woman in the
Gao said a dog bit eight people in her residential district over
the weekend. A pregnant woman had to get an abortion.
A recent survey of the pet trade market in the Confucius Temple,
a flea market in the city, showed that the majority for sale there
had not been vaccinated.
The number of dogs in the city has soared rapidly since 2004
when the rules on owning them changed, according to Wu Yong from
the public security department.
"Previously, people had to register their dogs with the public
security bureau and vaccinate their dogs regularly in order to get
a dog license. After that rule was cancelled, the supervision of
dog owners became increasingly loose and more cases of dogs
harassing or hurting people were reported," said Wu.
Statistics from the Nanjing Disease Prevention and Control
Center show more than 11,000 citizens in Nanjing came forward for
the rabies vaccine between January and July this year.
"Most came after being bitten by a dog. About 60 people come per
day during the hot season of July and August," said one staff
(China Daily August 16, 2006)