November 14, 2006
Written by C.N.
As China continues to becoming more Americanized and “capitalism-ized,” as the Christian Science Monitor reports, the latest status symbol among China’s emerging middle and upper classes is having a dog as a pet. However, with this new trend comes age-old challenges as well:
A generation raised in one-child families is eager to bond with household pets. In Beijing, the number of registered dogs is up 16 percent this year, to 530,000, but the true dog population is likely far higher, as many animals are unregistered. The reason is not only to avoid paying a $75 to $125 registration fee. . . . But regulations being what they are, some dog owners were prepared to flout them, betting that law enforcers had bigger fish to fry.
All that changed in September, when Beijing declared it was stepping up the fight against rabies, a disease that officials say killed more than 2,500 people last year in China. In July, officials in a rural county in Yunnan Province slaughtered 50,000 dogs to contain an outbreak of rabies. Pet dogs were snatched off the street and clubbed to death or hung. Jining City in Shandong Province followed suit after reported deaths from rabies. . . .
But even registered dogs that have had rabies shots are said to be at risk, as police stations need to fill their weekly quotas for dog exterminations. . . .But buyers continue to visit the sprawling outdoor market, especially on weekends when thousands of dogs, big and small, pedigreed and mongrel, are paraded for sale in cages or on leashes. Not all are destined to become household pets, however. . . The dog is leashed and led to a waiting car to be taken to a restaurant and slaughtered for its meat, a common practice in parts of China.
Looks like the clash between old traditional practices and modern Americanized trends continues to rage in China.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Latest Trend in China: Dogs as Pets" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/11/latest-trend-in-china-dogs-as-pets/> ().
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