Shanghai coronavirus lockdown: Corgi beaten to death by pandemic worker in latest pet killing to anger China

Chinese authorities are facing a mountain of criticism after a Covid-19 prevention worker killed a pet dog in a locked-down Shanghai community this week.

The corgi’s owners had tested positive for Covid-19 and were being transferred to a quarantine centre.

The family was torn between letting the dog go outside in the hopes that it would survive or keeping it inside where it could starve if the family was stuck out of the home for too long.

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The family decided to let the dog outside before they were quarantined. The video, which has gone viral in China, showed the corgi chasing the van for a short distance as it left.

The corgi followed this van carrying its owners before it was killed. Photo: Weibo

Once the van had driven away, the worker, identified as a gate guard for the complex, hit the dog three times with a spade, killing it.

The dog’s pained cries could be heard in the video, taken by a resident from her high-rise residential building, who yelled, “it is too cruel”.

A local official in charge of the community’s affairs told news portal that they killed the dog because they thought the animal posed a risk of spreading the disease.

“We did not fully consider the issue, and we have told the dog’s owner that we will discuss compensation with him later,” the official, whose name was not released, was quoted as saying.

The fury online was fierce and persistent. While the video has gone viral, a screenshot showing the worker leaning on the spade next to the dead corgi has also been passed around, in part because the video is hard to watch.

Tensions are also high because the Shanghai district where the incident happened, Pudong, has been locked down since March 28 in what was supposed to be a short-term attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus but has been extended indefinitely as case numbers continue to surge.

Shanghai reported 19,982 cases on Thursday.

“What this official said shows she is indifferent towards life,” wrote one person on Baidu, China’s version of Google.

Another person commented: “I am heartbroken to see that the corgi was chasing its owner but then got beaten to death,” a third person commented.

Authorities in China have killed dogs on multiple occasions during the pandemic, a point of conflict between local governments and many residents.

In November of last year, officials in eastern China’s Jiangxi province beat a pet dog to death with an iron rod in its owner’s home after the owner was taken away for quarantine. The officials had promised the owner that they would not slaughter the pet.

At the end of last month, a district in Hebei in north China issued a circular to kill the pet animals whose owners test positive for Covid-19, which received significant blowback and was reversed.

Last month, Chen Wei, a delegate to the National People’s Congress, the country’s top political advisory body, suggested the authorities set up regulations for pet quarantines when their owners test positive for the virus.

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