As China maintains its zero-Covid policy, the country has kept infections at bay with their tough restrictions and strict pandemic measures at the moment. However, a recent allegation of a slaughtered dog sparked outcry from Chinese social media and suggests that the measures may have gone way too far.
Due to a new confirmed case of Covid-19 in Xinzhou district of Shangrao, located in the northeast of Jiangxi province, the community had undergone lockdown and residents were quarantined in a nearby hotel that didn't allow pets.
Mrs. Fu, one of the community residents shared in a Chinese social media platform, Weibo, a footage of two PPE-wearing individuals, beating her pet dog to death using iron bars. According to authorities, the health workers were dismissed from their post and had apologized, which only angered people more.
"The government of Shangrao leaves me speechless," one Weibo user writes: "This dog was not even confirmed of having Covid19. Nevertheless, they just beat him to death. How can you be so cruel?!"
Anti-epidemic workers in an 'anti-epidemic mission'
While it was said that residents were instructed to leave their apartment doors open for disinfection, Mrs. Fu claims she had hers locked, but was still forcedly entered by workers with police assistance and did more than just 'disinfecting'.
"Without the instructions of the leaders above, who would dare to pry the door and kill the dog?" said one commenter.
In an English-language version article from Global Times, a writer described the situation as "a staffer who culled a pet dog during anti-epidemic mission," and "gave harmless disposal on a pet dog without having fully communicated with the pet owner", which garnered backlash for the misleading emphasis on anti-epidemic policies and "humane" treatment of animals.
"Don't you think you're laughable? You have some nerve to report on this like this," one commented.
An overreaction in battling the outbreak
A similar case earlier this month where three pet cats that tested positive for Covid-19 were euthanized in the Chinese city of Harbin, also received negative comments about health officials' "overreaction" on a pet infection that was not even conclusive.
"Emergency measures such as hunting and killing should not be taken. The relevant unit has no evidence to prove that these pets have been infected," said An Xiang, director of a Beijing law firm, on Weibo.
These events left pet owners in fear and confusion about laws and official processes of such measures.
Meanwhile, community health workers responded that there's no treatment available for animals and euthanasia was the only option. "If the animal tests positive, then they cannot move back and the whole residential area could not move back, the outbreak will never end," the worker said.
As China continues to chase a zero-Covid-19 strategy, complaints are on the rise as people grew tired of the 'rough, one-size-fits-all treatment' from local government and health workers in containing the outbreak, including the bad treatment of pets, which they find excessive.
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