The official Xinhia News agency reported that Chinese authorities have euthanized nearly 5,000 dogs and will vaccinate another 100,000 dogs the city of Baoshan, Yunnan. The city has issued an urgent order calling for authorities to tightly regulate dogs and to kill all stray dogs.

Four people died in June and another died in July all involving reports of multiple dog bites.  

This isn't the first time that the Chinese government has ordered large-scale dog culls. The Associate Press reports that in 2009 authorities in the city of Hanzhong, Shaanxi providence killed around 37,000 dogs after a rabies outbreak. Some of the animals were reportedly clubbed to death.

The South China Morning Post reports that during the same year authorities in Weinan, Shanxi providence were required to obtain permits for their dogs and show proof that the dogs had received vaccinations or risk having their animals taken away. Each family was allowed to keep a small dog of 5kg or less, and larger pets were taken away and killed.

The Guardian reports that in 2006 the government had ordered two culling's after 16 people died from rabies in Jining, Shandong providence.

The massive culling has sparked outcries from animal advocacy groups and dog owners who say that the dogs should be sterilized and vaccinated rather than killed.

Rabies is usually transmitted through the saliva from the bite of an infected animal. The virus attacks the victim's central nervous system causing problems with the brain and ultimately leads to death.

Outbreak News Today reports that symptoms progress as the disease spread and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing and hydrophobia (fear of water). If left untreated, it could lead to death.

In 2010 contreversy arose in Shanghai when the government proposed the killing of stray dogs when there was a spike in the number of dog attacks from 100,000 to 140,000.