Wednesday, November 15, 2006

China's Canine Crackdown

Rex here, again.

I just heard some disturbing news and am thanking my lucky stars that I don't live in China!

Evidently, rabies is a very big issue in China. Apparently, there were 2,651 reported deaths from rabies in 2004 and 318 have died from it since September. Only around 3% of dogs there are vaccinated against rabies. In response to this issue the Chinese government has cracked down on dogs, yes, dogs -- not vaccinations, owners, or any preventative measures. Their method of handling the situation is to restrict households from owning more than one dog, banning ownership of large dogs, and forbidding owners to take their dogs to public places including parks.

Several citizens have protested the crackdown but the Chinese government is holding strong on the issue. One official admitted that people do have the right to raise dogs but people who do not own dogs should also have the right not to be "harassed" by dogs.

Look, one small dog can contract and spread rabies as easily as two large dogs. Why not make the effort, like we do in the US, to educate people on how to train their dogs and ensure that they are not a threat to others by keeping them on leash and giving them regular rabies vaccinations? Seems like a more mature and far more peacful option than this ban.

I guess the year of the dog isn't such a good year for the dog afterall.

Consider me thankful and proud to be a Canine American!

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