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Dog Days of Summer.
August 1, 2006 10:16 PM   Subscribe

China kills 50,000 dogs in rabies scare by bludgeoning them. Human rabies a big problem in China. Lack of animal vaccinations to blame. But will culling dogs really help, when effect rabies control includes creating a buffer of vaccinated domestic animals[pdf] between humans and wildlife? Meanwhile, some areas in the US and Canada are proactively vaccinating wildlife.
posted by [insert clever name here] (29 comments total)

 
Who will have the honour of commencing the Chinese restaurant jokes?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:53 PM on August 1, 2006


I ain't touch that suggestion, Krrrlson.

As to the topic itself: I can hardly imagine killing my own pet even if it came to a situation of rabies everywhere. Is the government compensation really that strong of an incentive? I guess it must be! I'm looking at figures for some off the "human rabies a big problem in China," and it says that over 2660 people died of it in 2004. That doesn't seem to merit a paranoia that induces the death of 50,000 dogs. But then, I feel that rabies (even in the US) is one of those diseases that carries very strong negative associations with it due to the neural degeneration an infection causes.

Poor doggies.
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:02 PM on August 1, 2006


I too fail to see where 2,660 people can justify 50,000 dogs. I mean, dogs are so cute. That is not at all in line with our fear-mongering government bureaucracy here in the U.S.!
posted by rob paxon at 11:38 PM on August 1, 2006


My dog is fully vaccinated.

However, she gets a lot of "free run" time (I'm quasi-rural). Every few weeks she kills a squirrel, possum or bunny. Once she offed a cat. I do get scared of her getting rabies, but so far so good.

However, the idea of sequestering her and robbing her of freedom in order to protect her from pathogens breaks my heart. At the (ever so slight) risk of death, she runs free.
posted by sourwookie at 12:16 AM on August 2, 2006


Oh shit, I forgot the Reactionary Entitled American response:

And if any Slant-Eye Chink wants to kill my hound I'll shove a big-ole flag up their puckered yellow ass.

Christ, I am so much more frightened of my neighbors than I am of anyone overseas.
posted by sourwookie at 12:20 AM on August 2, 2006


Why couldn't the Chinese government instead just have shot the dogs in the head with a bullet? That would have been more humane than a clubbing. I'm sure many dogs suffered greatly being clubbed. But then again this is a country that has declared war on baby girls. One in seven baby girls in the last twenty years has been murdered shortly after birth by various means such as starving them, strangling them, etc. The future of China is going to have a lot of men bending over with each other, there won't be enough women!!!
posted by Michelle_hermosabeach at 12:27 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


What a horror. I lived through a number of rabid dog purges in various places in India. Utter misery. Poisoning dogs is an awful way for them to die too. Shooting them may also be miserable unless the shot is exact, dealt up close. My own beloved dog wandered away for a few hours during a rabies purge that I didn't know was happening and was shot.

A little about rabies.

For many country folk, the cost of the vaccine for the animals was simply not available and often impossible to get if an adult human were bitten. The vaccine then, and it may still, requires refrigeration, which wasn't possible in many rural places in India. The young son of a friend died a slow and tortuous death by rabies, agonising for all. He was playing with a puppy who appeared healthy but wasn't and it bit him.

On another occasion half a dozen grown-ups came in contact with one rabid dog and were bitten. They only saved their lives by travelling 16 hours by bus from the mountains to New Delhi, where the French Embassy kept the famous and expensive rabies injections, given one a day over weeks, injected into the stomach wall. Plus one had to find,m catch and kill the animal that bit one, plus decapitate the rabid animal, take the head and have that tested in a lab to make sure the rabies injections were warranted.

The problem with poisoning an animal is that it takes time and there is no way to know in the time it takes to die, if it is infected with rabies, it will bite another animal or person. Both poison and bullets cost money, so I can imagine in an area that is poor the locals might use those reasons to bludgeon animals. In attempting to shoot an animal wandering -or running- in an urban area human beings might also get shot by accident.

The medicine for rabies has evolved but I can imagine that much of China is so poor still that they would use bludgoning to kill dogs. So awful and sad.

Edgar Allen Poe may have died of rabies.
posted by nickyskye at 12:49 AM on August 2, 2006


This poses a very interesting question: how many dogs would you kill to save the life of one human?

The ratio in this case, 2500 (theoretical) human deaths vs. 50.000 certain deaths is probably a lot better than the ratio for vivisection.

1. A dog's life for a human life
2. Ten dogs' lives for a human life
3. A thousand dogs' lives for a human life
4. A million dogs' lives for a human life
5. The extinction of dogs as a species for a human life

Where do you stand, and why?
posted by Zombie Dreams at 1:08 AM on August 2, 2006


I too fail to see where 2,660 people can justify 50,000 dogs.

Maybe I'm a heartless bastard or something, but I think that's justified enough. That's just under 19 dogs per person. I would totally choose one person over 19 dogs.

On preview: I'll say somewhere between 3 and 4, but closer to 4.
posted by equalpants at 1:28 AM on August 2, 2006


I'm sorry. Fuck a bunch of dogs. I could personally torture a veal calf if I felt it would make it tastier. But I'd rather cheaply vaccinate all the dogs than go to the expense of killing them.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:36 AM on August 2, 2006


I choose 6. Don't be needlessly panicky and cruel.

The Chinese are overreacting. Because some wild dogs have rabies, they send teams of dog killers around beating to death household dogs that they have to know probably do not have rabies.

And not just killing wild dogs, or dogs that seemed sick. Killing all dogs (except, of course, police and military dogs, because you'd have to shoot the handlers first). "However, even the 4,000 dogs that had been immunised against rabies were put to death in case the immunisations were not effective."
posted by pracowity at 1:40 AM on August 2, 2006


I've decided to add another option:

7. BitterOldPunk's life for any animal's life (as long as it doesn't cost too much)
posted by Zombie Dreams at 4:05 AM on August 2, 2006


Perhaps they gave the corpses to feed North Korea?
posted by A189Nut at 5:45 AM on August 2, 2006


Zombie Dreams: You question is biased by being species-centric; you should instead be asking a differerent "interesting question":

How many humans would you kill to save the life of one dog?


1. A human life for a dog's life
2. Ten human lives for a dog's life
3. A thousand human lives for a dog's life
4. A million human lives for a dog's life
5. The extinction of humans as a species for a dog's life

Where do you stand, and why?

In the American West during the building of the Transcontinental railroad Chinese human lives were killed to save re-routing the railroad a few miles. It all depends on who is doing the culling.

A monk asked Joshu: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?'
Joshu answered: "Mu"
posted by mfoight at 5:49 AM on August 2, 2006


Food Dogs in Asia vs. dog food in the United States.
posted by cenoxo at 7:00 AM on August 2, 2006


'Zombie Dreams: You question is biased by being species-centric; you should instead be asking a differerent "interesting question":

How many humans would you kill to save the life of one dog?'


Mfoight: Yeah, except that no-one would answer or take the question seriously. I am aware of the speciest nature of humankind and worded the question accordingly.
posted by Zombie Dreams at 7:00 AM on August 2, 2006


Pigs are smarter than dogs. I eat them for pleasure. I would certainly kill them for health reasons.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 7:35 AM on August 2, 2006


Dogs being walked were seized from their owners and beaten to death on the spot, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

As a dog-owner, that broke my heart. I understand rabies (my dog is vaccinated) and I understand a country like China is not a country like Canada, but to think of it being me walking my sweet companion... Well, that just broke my heart.
posted by Savannah at 7:40 AM on August 2, 2006


Sheesh, they're only dogs. If it saves a single human life, or even saves a human from getting a wee bit poorly, the bludgeoning is justified. Shooting might have been kinder, mind you, not to mention much less effort.
posted by jack_mo at 8:21 AM on August 2, 2006


The culling was not in response to the overall human rabies victims in china (2500-ish) but to 3 recent victims. Of course, does that make it any more gruesome is hard to say. The disgusting part is not the cull (which may be argued was necessary) but the method used. I can't imagine why it would be done other than some sick mob mentality. Its slow, dangerous, (you can't tell me the dogs wouldn't try to fight back), labor intensive and inhumane.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:37 AM on August 2, 2006


Why couldn't the Chinese government instead just have shot the dogs in the head with a bullet?


$$$
posted by Atreides at 8:56 AM on August 2, 2006


It would seem mob revenge mentality took over or fear.

It is mind-boggling what human beings can do to each other and worse to animals. In 1905 the Lingchi torture was outlawed in China but continued for some time after that. Photographs (graphic and dangerous for the mind).
posted by nickyskye at 9:03 AM on August 2, 2006


Don't forget the amusing Great Cat Massacre!
posted by Atreides at 9:33 AM on August 2, 2006


Dogs, even rabid dogs, are simply delicious when fried with a bit of sesame seed oil and served over jasmine rice. Finger lickin' good!
posted by nlindstrom at 11:45 AM on August 2, 2006


Perhaps nlindstrom would like to include mixing in the dead baby Chinese girls with the finger lickin' good dog mixture.
posted by Michelle_hermosabeach at 12:07 PM on August 2, 2006


nlindstrom, You are plain bad, you naughty taughty you.
posted by nickyskye at 2:55 PM on August 2, 2006


You know it's just a matter of time before they start doing it to Chinese humans as well.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:30 PM on August 2, 2006


Gotta justify those mobile execution vans, you know.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:31 PM on August 2, 2006


This is almost as smart as the time the Chinese Government decided to genocide the pigeons because they were "dirty", and then wondered why there were so many more insects (mosquitos and crop pests in particular).

Sorry can't find a cite right now--this happened during the Cultural Revolution if I remember correctly.
posted by oats at 12:27 PM on August 3, 2006


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