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Nov 13, 2006

NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic
and Social Council of the United Nations

November 13th 2006, For Immediate Release

Sirius is extremely concerned by the continued culling of dogs in China and by the creation of even more draconian laws relating to the keeping of dogs in the capital, Beijing. It seems that Chinese lawmakers are keen to draft regulations that allow animals to be slaughtered, yet reticent to consider their protection.
We would strongly urge the Chinese Government to seriously reconsider their latest initiative regarding the slaughter of dogs. The excuse that dogs, regardless of whether they have been inoculated or not, are carriers of rabies is utterly false. We are aware that dogs are being exported to New Zealand from China. If the Chinese authorities genuinely believed that dogs are carriers of rabies, even the vaccinated ones, how could they allow this to happen, putting other countries at risk? The Chinese authorities need to look at the real cause of the spread of rabies and other diseases - the wild life which they kill and butcher so indiscriminately in their wet markets.
During the first cull, both the World Health Organisation and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advised that there are very effective vaccinations and controls for rabies, without the need for mass slaughter. Inexplicably however, the Chinese Government has chosen to disregard these measures.
Asking people to report others for the apparently heinous crime of having a dog half an inch taller than the regulation height is reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition when people were asked to betray their friends and neighbours. We would have thought that times had changed, but apparently not everywhere.
It is however gratifying to hear of the recent demonstration by the citizens of Beijing. Change in China can only come from within, initiated by the people and with support and encouragement from organisations outside. This demonstration shows that the ordinary people are now demanding the rights long denied them by their government. Protesters were told by police that they could suffer "serious consequences".
We are certainly not talking here about anything as elevated as civil rights - in China the State decides how many children you can have. No, the rights we refer to here are much more humble, so simple and basic that Westerners probably wouldn't think of them as rights at all.
We are talking about the right to have a pet. We are talking about the right to not have it beaten to death before your eyes.
Unconfirmed reports last week of a child, leaping to her death from a 15 storey building because her pet dog was being confiscated by the authorities, adds more abhorrence to the situation. The innocents are suffering and for what? A "clean" China with the lead up to the forthcoming Summit and Olympic Games? If China cares about its image, can the authorities in Beijing believe that this can do anything but tarnish it yet further?

Elly Maynard
Sirius GAO Charitable Trust
For more information on the dog massacres in China and how you can help our campaign, visit

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Posted: Nov 13, 2006 12:48pm


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colleen o.
, 5
Vancouver, Canada
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