Shall China ban residents from raising large dogs? Frequent attacks and killings by Tibetan mastiff spark outrage against dog owners and national debate on urban dog control


Chinese Society  Updated:Fri, Aug 2, 2013 09:03 AM   By Bernd Chang


The death of a 3-year-old girl from Liaoning and the injury of an 8-year-old girl from Shanxi has sparked national debate on whether ferocious dogs should be banned from cities and what kind of responsibilities the dog owners should shoulder.

The death of a 3-year-old girl from Dalian of Liaoning province and the injury of an 8-year-old girl from Yuncheng of Shanxi province has set off  national debate on whether large and ferocious dogs should be banned from cities and what kind of responsibilities the dog owners should shoulder.

A toddler girl was killed by a Tibetan mastiff in Dalian, Liaoning province on Thursday evening, June 27. When the three and a half years old girl was on her way to a grocery store with her mother on a street in Dalian, a Tibetan mastiff suddenly appeared and knocked her down and bit her neck. The girl was rushed to hospital, but died from severe injuries to her trachea and arteries, leaving her mother deeply distraught, Chinanews reported.

On June 3, an eight-year-old girl was attacked by a Tibetan mastiff in a village in Yuncheng, Shanxi province. Fortunately, she was saved by a passing villager. At first, the villager tried to drive away the dog using his motorcycle, but the dog did not release its bite and hauled the girl a dozen meters away. Only after the man used a club to strike hard on its head, did the dog run away. Although the girl was not seriously injured, the scene is still breathtaking and horrifying to all those who have watched the video. 

On the morning of May 27, a 62-year-old man from Zunyi, Guizhou province was killed by two ferocious dogs of Dogo Argentino breed when the man was doing morning exercise. The dogs hauled the old man’s body dozen meters and even ate up part of his body. Police coming to help dared not approach the dogs and only when the dog owner came the two dogs released the poor man and left with full head of blood, reported.

Shorgly after the death of the Guizhou old man, the Beijing police started a citywide crackdown on large and dangerous dogs on June 2, in an attempt to avoid attacks on people and propagate diseases from the animals. But still, the cases of injury or killing of people by dogs are far from disappearing.

On the morning of June 24, two Tibetan mastiff rushed out of a company courtyard and bit three passers-by in Dengzhuang village, Changping district, Beijing.

At around 10 on the morning of June 27, the public security bureau of Pinggu disctrict received call that two residents were injured by dogs in Mafang town.

Frequent dog attacks on human have aroused heated debate and discussion on urban dog management.

The Tibetan mastiff is a large dog, which can be as tall as 32 inches and weigh up to 180 pounds. They can be aggressive. In recent years, because it is quite rare and expensive to buy, Tibetan mastiffs have become a popular pet for many rich Chinese.  

Some Chinese appear to so angry to the frequent attacks by dogs that they call for shooting dead all large dogs in Chinese cities. But many more echo as one Weibo user pointed out: “It is not the dogs’ fault, but the owners’. They should always keep an eye on their dogs."

“When we fight for animal rights, we should also ask for stricter dog regulations,” commented another.

On Weibo, Chinese equivalent of Twitter, a majority Chinese commentators agree that the frequent attacks of dogs on humans in China are attributed to the light judicial punishment of the pet owner. In China, the owner of dogs that kill people will be charged with manslaughter and will face up to seven years in jail, which is comparably lighter than in USA where the owners will be charged with intended murder. 

Other Chinese add that the regulations for dog management are not enforced strictly as similar to the fate of many other Chinese laws. China is not lack of laws and regulations on dog control in cities and countryside, but the lack of being carried out strictly according to the laws and regulations. Actually many Chinese cities ban residents from raising large and ferocious dogs, but these dogs are frequently seen in the cities. And all dogs are required to be fastened or chained and accompanied by their owner in cities, but the reality is that dogs without being chained are seen everywhere in Chinese cities, many of which are wandering dogs without an owner.

By the way, rabies is the top infectious diseases causing the highest number of death in China.

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