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Chinese Officials Cancel Dog Cull in Earthquake Zone
Date:6/2/2008

CHENGDU, China, June 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dogs which survived the devastating earthquake in the Zun Dao township of Sichuan China have a new lease on life after IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - http://www.ifaw.org) and local officials announced an agreement to end the cruel killing of dogs and instead address public health concerns through an IFAW sponsored anti-rabies vaccination and veterinary aid program in the 20,000+ population.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080602/DC24083 )

"This agreement is a major breakthrough," said Jackson Zee, IFAW rescue leader. "Chinese media have been filled with reports of people evacuating with their pets, being comforted by their pets, and even saved by their pets after their homes collapsed, so we are delighted to see this next step as local officials are acknowledging that humane care of dogs, cats and livestock can benefit both animals and people."

After the devastating earthquake that claimed around 80,000 human lives, IFAW rushed close to $200,000 in aid and sourced over six tons of animal food for some of the hardest-hit areas within Sichuan province.

IFAW met with local government officials in Zun Dao and offered humane alternatives to the dog culls presently in effect in much of the devastated areas. Officials agreed to halt any dog culling operations in the area and are welcoming IFAW's efforts to address the present public health concerns by conducting an anti-rabies vaccination and veterinary care program in the area.

Accompanied by local veterinarians, IFAW began visiting villages immediately and on the first afternoon provided food, collars, leashes and appropriate vaccinations for at least 50 family owned dogs. There are an estimated 4,000 owned dogs and 1,000 strays in Zun Dao and surrounding villages and relief
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SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare
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