Important news for dog owners living in China: last week the national health and agriculture ministries issued new regulations mandating that all dogs be vaccinated against rabies. Owners failing to do so risk "serious punishment".
Rabies deaths among humans in China have been increasing over the last three years, with 3,380 people falling to the disease last year, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Rabies vaccinations will not only prevent human deaths, but will likely decrease the chances of mass cullings of dogs, as happened in the county of Mouding, Yunnan in late 2006.
Three Mouding area residents – including a four-year-old girl – died from rabies after being bitten by dogs, after which the local government and vigilante residents killed 50,000 dogs throughout the county in one week.