Sichuan police defend beating dog to death in front of watching owner

By Wen Ya Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-6 23:23:01

Police who beat a dog to death in front of its owner defended their actions on Wednesday as in line with rabies prevention regulations of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

In an online post released Wednesday two policemen, one holding a long steel fork and another a shovel, killed the dog in front of the owner, who sat watching in the street of the ancient city of Langzhong, about 300 kilometers from the Sichuan capital Chengdu.

The owner, a vagrant, was sent to a rescue shelter Tuesday, Langzhong police said on news portal

They would adjust their working practices in future, the statement said.

The dog's eyes were red and it barked at people, showing symptoms of rabies, police told the West China City Daily.

Hospitals in the area received nearly 4,000 patients hurt by dogs in 2013, according to Langzhong Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics.

The policeman who killed the dog  told the Chengdu-based newspaper he was only obeying orders. "I had mixed feelings and felt uncomfortable after killing the dog," Chan Yao said.

Contacted by the Global Times, Chen refused to comment.

The Weibo post provoked outrage and debate among Web users who criticized police brutality or defended the police's concern for health and safety.

The police announcement said they killed the dog according to regulations stating that public security organs can kill illegal dogs in public places with the aim of protecting the public.

Police judged the situation "very dangerous" after being told the man and his dog once begged for money in a shop on the street near a primary school and one of the city's scenic spots. The man did not respond to inquiries, police added.

"The police should arrange a shelter for the man and his dog and check if the dog has diseases," said Zhu Shuilin, vice president of the Zhejiang Small Animal Protection Association.

"However they dealt with the dog, they should have got permission from the vagrant first."

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