Rabies risk requires dogs be controlled
two people have died of rabies. A Shanghai resident died two months after he was bitten by a stray dog, as did a woman in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province. Thepaper.cn commented on Monday:
Incidents involving dog bites and rabies always lead to a public outcry for stricter management of dogs. But such calls often subside once the public’s attention switches to something else.
Some diehard dog lovers also campaign to protect stray and big dogs. And the dog control enforcers can do little when dog-loving protesters prevent them from doing their job. Trucks carrying aggressive dogs have been forced to stop and the dogs released. After the Xi’an woman died, some stood up refuting the idea that dogs carry viruses and upholding the right of dogs to life and protection.
Their standpoint makes some sense. But let us not forget that the dangers stemming from the poor management of dogs are underrated rather than
overrated in many Chinese cities. What is needed is greater awareness of rabies, not unconditional love for stray animals.
Extremist dog lovers should not be allowed to hinder the authorities’ efforts to protect residents from rabies and other diseases that can be transmitted by dog bites.
Local governments have the right to implement the existing regulations on dog management, even if that means punishing irresponsible dog owners and those who thwart animal control enforcement.
Dog lovers should also be subjected to penalties if they obstruct police from enforcing the law in the management of stray dogs as a love for dogs should never be at the cost of human lives.