In China’s social media a video was circulated of pet dog Samoyed named Snowball was mercilessly
hammered to death by anti-covid workers. The owner of the pet is a woman who’s living in Huizhou city
in Guangdong was shattered, on Mar 4 posted the news of her pet’s death on Weibo a twitter-like platform.
She has stipulated in that post that her three-year-old dog was beaten to death by sticks.
In her post, she had clearly stated that after her boyfriend was tested positive for COVID- 19 she was sent
to isolation in a quarantine facility. She was not permitted to bring her pet along with her but was informed
the covid workers will disinfect her home.
She posted the video under her Weibo account ID Yi ZhiXueQiu where the video showcased how the covid
workers wearing PPE kit cornered the dog which was barking and backing off was beaten with a metal rod
The video on social media circulated like wildfire highlighted that reason was not evident why the worker
took a big stick and started bashing the poor animal and they were taking turns while beating him to death.
Later the original video was removed from the platform but the video was again reposted by other Weibo
accounts. The disheartened woman said that her pet was like her family if there wouldn’t have been a CCTV
camera installed in her house she never would have encountered the truth of her pet’s disappearance.
The woman posted in Weibo the chat log with the government officials when they were enquiring about
the dog whether it is fierce, bites or not. She further added that if at that moment I would have replied that
the dog bites then the outcome would have been different maybe my Snowball would have been alive.
Later the woman even questioned the covid worker that they had the relevant permit to kill the dog, at the
time of her isolation she asked them to let her dog be quarantined with her. The authority did not permit
her she in fact questioned on the post when there is no relevant evidence that pets can spread covid how
can the COVID worker kill her pet?
She pleaded to the authority officials to provide a substitute arrangement for her dog but they only reply
she heard that “results cannot be interfered”1. Further, she elevated instances of other cities’ schedules for
workers to visit the pets, why cannot the Huizhou government provide the same facility.
Due to public outcry, the local authorities apologised and said that they have suspended one of the health
workers. Public outcry questioned the authority and asked for the law against animal cruelty which is not
present on social media platforms. The authority immediately froze the account and removed the post, this
aggravated some netizens.
This is not the first time this type of episode happened; earlier a health worker killed a pet corgi while his
owner was quarantined in a local hotel that does not allow pets. These repeated incidents have enraged the
public to question the authority whether China’s Zero Covid-strategy is feasible for the long term,
considering the massive social price one has to pay.
The citizens are questioning the government that “who have given them the right to infringe a citizen’s
privacy and security of her property2”. Further, one of the Weibo users posted pets are private property,
they cannot be killed and disposed of without permission of the owner. Even if the killing was imperative,
there needs to be solid, scientific groundwork for it.
2https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-59249485Earlier in September, the Harbin officials were accused of euthanizing three cats, while its owner was in
the hospital due to Covid positive. This back to the back incident has induced a ripple of panic among pet
China zero tolerant Covid-strategy forceful quarantine and disinfection procedure of health workers has
created has caused discomfort among the citizen. They have started questioning the government regarding
violation of citizen privacy, security of the property and cruelty against animals.
China’s zero-strategy has attracted criticism and unrest among citizens, in addition to killing animals is not
at all acceptable to the Chinese citizen. The social media post criticising the covid precautionary measures
resulting in the killing of the pet animals has created a wave of annoyance.
The government’s strategy to hush up the matter by deleting posts from social media further added fuel to
fire. It is good to check on the spread of the disease but not at the cost of poor pet animals.
Not only in China but other countries like New South Wales, Australia killed a group of dogs to stop them
to come in contact with animal shelter volunteers that were schedule to pick them up as published in The
Sydney Morning Herald. The same incident happened in Hong Kong as they killed hamsters in a pet shop.
This type of animal slaughtering incident is creating unrest among pet owners and giving rise to animal
cruelty which should be kept in check with stern measures and should be made mandatory to be followed