Ra­bies risk re­quires dogs be con­trolled

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - OVER THE PAST 30 DAYS

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.

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