A Chinese district government is giving dog owners a stark choice: Get rid of your pets or we will kill them on the spot at your home.
Even in a country where dog ownership is tightly regulated, the order issued this week by the Dayang New District in the eastern city of Jinan is extreme.
Regional governments have culled stray animals before but the order in Dayang also covers dogs that have been registered and vaccinated.
Culls often follow outbreaks of rabies, a disease that kills about 2,000 Chinese each year, but the order cites only the maintenance of environmental hygiene and “everyone’s normal lives” as reasons.
A worker from the Dayang village committee insisted on local television 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. A lot of people were complaining, so we wrote a public notice to avoid a conflict,” said the unidentified man.
The order underscores continuing weaknesses in China’s legal system, particularly when it comes to police powers and private property protections.
It also points to the lack of rules on pets in public, such as leash laws and fines for not cleaning up after them.
Chinese often appear divided sharply between animal lovers and those who see dogs as a threat to the public.
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