Dear Ambassador Randt,
I am deeply appalled to learn that officials in a southwestern Chinese county brutally slaughtered 50,000 dogs in a government-ordered crackdown after three people died of rabies.
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This was not humane euthanasia. Dogs being walked were seized from their owners and beaten to death on the spot. Killing teams also entered villages at night creating noise to get dogs barking, and then beat the animals to death.
This is an extraordinarily crude, coldblooded and lazy way for the Chinese government to deal with disease. Had the government been more attentive and proactive, the killings wouldn’t have been necessary.
Health experts say the brutal policy pointed to deep weaknesses in the health care infrastructure in China, where only 3 percent of dogs are vaccinated against rabies and more than 2,000 people die of the disease each year.
This must not happen again in the future. Regardless of culture, the brutal and unnecessary killing of innocent life, human or not, is unacceptable.
As an American, I ask you, as my Ambassador, to urge the Chinese government to stop this type of government-sanctioned animal cruelty in general, and more specifically urge them to adopt a rabies prevention program that will prevent rabies outbreaks in the future.
Thank you for your consideration.