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Last Updated: Friday, 4 August 2006, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
Second Chinese dog cull planned
Chinese dogs at shelter
Animal rights groups say culls do not solve the problem
A second Chinese local government has launched a controversial mass cull of dogs in a bid to tackle rabies.

Officials in Jining, in eastern Shandong province, said 16 people had died of the disease this year.

They said they would kill all dogs within five km of 16 villages where rabies had been found, suggesting 500,000 dogs were under threat.

The move comes days after 50,000 dogs were killed in south-western China in response to a rabies outbreak.

'Cold-blooded' culls

The culls have sparked outrage from animal rights groups.

One group, People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), called for a boycott of Chinese products.

Correspondents say China has a poor record of animal protection and there are no laws to prevent cruelty to pets.

The previous cull, in Mouding county in Yunnan, was prompted by the deaths of three people from rabies, including a four-year-old girl.

In a five-day cull, dogs were clubbed to death in the street as their owners watched. Other dog owners took matters into their own hands, poisoning or electrocuting their pets.

Rabies is an encephalitis brain disease caused by rabies virus. It is a fatal condition but it is preventable by vaccination.

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