Chinese Officials Offer Residents $29 To Kill Stray Dogs Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Chinese Officials Offer Residents $29 To Kill Stray Dogs Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The controversial offer was immediately taken down after facing severe backlash from residents in the area.

Image Source: Getty Images/Anton Minin (Representative)

A Chinese community is offering cash rewards to its residents for killing stray dogs amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Last week, local officials in Guangdong, a coastal province in South China, announced the offer in a document titled 'a kind reminder.' The notice read, "[We'll] reward people who capture and kill stray dogs. For each killed stray dog, we will give 200 yuan ($28.56)." The controversial scheme was issued by the Wanjiang community in Dongguan, Guangzhou Province of southern China, after receiving complaints about "rule-breaking dog owners" from some residents, claimed the neighborhood's management office.  


The order detailed many regulations on how resident dog owners should keep and walk their pets. The statement noted that dogs without a leash would be considered as strays.  When the concerned officials were approached about these "barbaric" rules, they denied accusations of encouragings killings of dogs and claimed they were merely trying to regulating pet-keeping with the rule. Despite the World Health Organisation suggesting that there was no evidence of the coronavirus being transmitted to animals, such harsh measures were implemented. Naturally, this didn't bode well with other residents who were outraged, and as a result, the notice was removed. 


"It's such a barbaric rule. I found it ridiculous," said a woman while speaking to the local press reports Daily Mail. "It's not what a civilized society would do." Another chimed in, "[Such statement] would teach our children how to not love animals." During an interview with Kankan News, a spokesperson from the Wanjiang community revealed that the notice was being re-drafted as "its content was inappropriate." Known only by his surname, Mr. Long cleared the air, adding, "We wanted to regulate keeping pets. We are not encouraging killing dogs." 


Previously, Chinese local officials have culled residents' pets in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, animal activists have reported. The fear of pets transmitting the disease to human started last month after a Chinese health expert suggested that animals needed to be quarantined to stop the outbreak. However, the World Health Organization dismissed it stating there was no evidence to suggest the transmission of the virus from dogs to humans. Unfortunately, many pets lost their lives when community officers in south-western China's Sichuan Province knocked on doors and ordered the residents to hand over their pets, reports the outlet.


It was Nanchong Missing Animal Aid Group that claimed the animals were murdered moments later on the streets. The organization further alleged that the campaign was executed at the township of Longcan in Peng'an County in Nanchong. Taking to Weibo, the group shared a distressing video of dogs, covered in blood and assumed to be dead, lying at the back of a truck. It was believed that the pooches belonged to families living in villages of Qianqiubang. In yet another heart-breaking clip, shared by an animal activist, an officer wearing a face mask could be seen touching a lifeless dog by the side of the street while his colleagues looked on. 

Image Source: Getty Images (Representative)

"Stop slaughtering pets in the midst of the epidemic. Enforce law in a civilized way," wrote the activist on Weibo slamming the cruel campaign claimed to be orchestrated by the Communist Party Secretary of Longcan Town. Soon, PETA got involved and urged the Chinese officials to not to use the outbreak as an excuse to abuse animals. Speaking to Mail Online, a spokesman for the group said, "Violent acts like this one don't address the public health problems. They only cause more conflicts in society." Defending its actions, local authorities of Longcan town said that dogs were killed to control rabies and not to contain the spread of coronavirus. 

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