Dog owners living in one Chinese district must say farewell to their beloved pets — or risk having their dog beaten to death —following an edict issued this week by government officials, reports Guardian US.
“No person is permitted to keep a dog of any kind,” reads the notice posted around city of Jinan. “Deal with it on your own, or else the committee will organize people to enter your home and club the dog to death right there.”
Culling, or the selective slaughter of wild and stray animals, is not uncommon in the eastern regions of China — the city of Yulin is widely known for its annual dog eating festival, which many activists have spoken out against.
However, the order issued for the Dayang New District of Jinan reportedly also covers dogs that have been registered and vaccinated. And unlike most culls, which follow a rabies outbreak — a disease that kills about 2,000 Chinese each year — this week’s decision only provides the reasons for the order to be for the maintenance of environmental hygiene and “everyone’s normal lives,” according to Guardian US.
Historically, the keeping of dogs as pets was outlawed during the early decades of the People’s Republic of China and was “denounced by Communist leaders as a bourgeois affectation and waste of scarce resources,” reports the news site. But dog ownership has grown tremendously over the last 20 years.
Theguardian.com was unable to obtain official comment on the order, but, when interviewed by a local television station, an unidentified worker from the Dayang village committee reportedly said the order was the will of the majority of the district’s more than 1,000 residents.
“Dogs are always defecating all over the place and bothering people,” the worker said. “A lot of people were complaining so we wrote a public notice to avoid a conflict.”