AR-News: (China) Dogs beaten to death in China
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Mon Nov 10 08:48:55 EST 2003
November 10, 2003
Dogs Beaten To Death In China
by by Nicole Allard
Posted on November 7, 2003
Fear of the SARS virus and the rumors that the virus can be transmitted from household pets to humans has unleashed a brutal wave of dog killing in China, according to recent news reports from the region.
Asia Times reports, "A tragic fate has befallen the dogs of China."
The Asia Times article published several accounts from China documenting the beating deaths of dogs. One is of a group of children no older than ten chasing a dog that was abandoned by its owner. The children carry poles, while others throw stones at the terrified animal.
"A boy in the group says that beating dogs is part of the fight against SARS," the article states.
Another account describes the actions of Nanjing's "Dog-Beating Corps," after they receive complaints from the neighbors of an elderly resident.
Asia Times Article
The gang shows up at the man's home and force their way in to beat the eight stray dogs to death that he has been caring for. His neighbors welcome the action.
Some Beijing dog owners who fear their dogs are infected with SARS decide to 'get rid' of their canine companion, but can't bear to abandon them on the street where they'll be beaten to death. Instead, they take them to a veterinarian and ask for them to be put to sleep.
Even though the SARS epidemic has subsided in past months, investigations continue in an effort to find out where it came from, and possibly, to create a vaccination against the infection.
Recently, BBC News reported findings that that cats and ferrets who are exposed to SARS in a laboratory could become infected. In the lab tests, the animals developed symptoms of SARS and passed it on to other animals.
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"If domestic cats could be infected, it could mean there is a possibility that it will be transferred from cats to humans, although that would be a rare event," Professor Albert Osterhaus, of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam which carried out the experiments, wrote recently in the journal 'Nature'.
"In the odd circumstances that they might be infected, they can spread the virus for a very short period of time, but in that situation, humans are very much more dangerous to themselves than cats are," the Professor added.
Domestic cats living in the Amoy Gardens apartment complex in Hong Kong were, in fact, found to carry the virus, according to BBC News.
However, according to Dr Klaus Stohr, the World Health Organisation's chief SARS scientist, "These animals in all likelihood did not play a significant role in the spread of (SARS) to humans."
© 2003 Animal News Center, Inc.
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