dogs food in china

Officials club a dog to death on a street in Luoping county in Yunnan province in this April 29 photo.

updated 5:59 p.m. ET Aug. 1, 2006

SHANGHAI, China - China slaughtered 50,000 dogs in a government-ordered crackdown after three people died of rabies, sparking unusually pointed criticism in state media Tuesday and an outcry from animal rights activists.

Health experts said the brutal policy pointed to deep weaknesses in the health care infrastructure in China, where only 3 percent of dogs are vaccinated against rabies and more than 2,000 people die of the disease each year.

The five-day slaughter in Mouding county in Yunnan province in southwestern China ended Sunday and spared only military guard dogs and police canine units, state media reported.

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