The Humane Society of the United States said Wednesday that it would give China $100,000 to vaccinate dogs against rabies if the nation promised to immediately stop slaughtering the animals in areas where humans have died of the disease.
The financial aid was offered to help set up a rabies control program in Jining, a city in the coastal province of Shandong. Officials there killed thousands of dogs last week after 16 people died of rabies over an eight-month period.
“There are far better ways of addressing rabies control to promote the safety of your citizens, the good reputation of China and the welfare of dogs,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a letter to China’s ambassador in Washington.
An official with the Ministry of Agriculture’s media office declined to immediately comment and asked to first see a Chinese translation of the Humane Society’s statement. He refused to give his name.
Officials in Mouding County in the southern province of Yunnan last month slaughtered more than 50,000 dogs after rabies killed three people.
The killings provoked unusually pointed criticism in Chinese state media, and the activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called for a boycott of Chinese products.