Shanghai lockdown: what is happening to pets in China city - Weibo videos show Covid workers killing animals

A number of videos have emerged from Shanghai of pets being killed over fears they will spread Covid

<p>Shanghai’s lockdown has seen rise to a mountain of videos displaying pets being beaten to death (Weibo)</p>

Shanghai’s lockdown has seen rise to a mountain of videos displaying pets being beaten to death (Weibo)

A Shanghai resident has told NationalWorld he fears for his dog’s safety after videos emerged on social media of Covid prevention workers brutally beating pets to death.

Shanghai is now over five weeks into a lockdown and many people in China’s most populated city have been told to stay inside their flats and compounds as Covid cases soar across the country.

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People who have tested positive for Covid are being hauled into cramped quarantine centres for an unspecified amount of time.

Pets are also being killed by Covid workers in the city over fears they can further spread the virus.

However, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention maintains the chance of pets spreading Covid to humans is low.

Why are pets being killed in Shanghai?

Footage from people in Shanghai shows pet dogs being captured and beaten to death.

One video, which went viral in China, showed a corgi chasing a van containing its owners after they tested positive and were being taken to a quarantine camp.

The family was torn between letting the dog go outside in hopes it would survive, or keeping it inside where it could starve if they were in quarantine for too long.

They decided to let the dog outside, which then chased the van for a short distance.

Once the van had driven away, a Covid prevention worker then hit the dog three times with a spade, killing it.

According to local media, the owner wrote in an online group: “In the end, I thought I could let [the pet] loose outside to become a stray, at least it wouldn’t starve to death.”

He added that the family had run out of dog food at home.

In March 2022, a woman shared a video of her pet Samoyed being brutally beaten by the workers.

The woman, living in Huizhou, posted a statement about her dog’s death on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, after she was sent into isolation at a quarantine facility and was not allowed to take her pet, Snowball, with her. She was told city workers would disinfect her home.

However, the video shows two workers beating her pet with sticks.

She wrote on Weibo: "Snowball is like family to me"

"Without this CCTV evidence, we might still be deceived that our pet was ‘humanely’ put down."

How do pet owners feel about the situation? 

Speaking exclusively to NationalWorld, Oliver*, who lives east of Huangpu river in Shanghai, said: “I care more about what will happen to my dog and what will happen if I go into quarantine - and I can’t find anyone to help me.

“(My dog) is almost like my child but that’s not a consideration for them.”

People living in the brutal lockdown get tested by workers everyday for Covid - and if their pet tests positive they “will be euthanized but not in a humane way.”

Hiding pets is not an option either, with Oliver saying: “They will come into your apartment and disinfect the whole place. So the chances are they will find them. But also my community knows I have a dog so they know to look out for one.”

There’s a stigma against pets having Covid in their district, as there are fears animals can spread Covid-19.

Oliver recounts a situation where a woman questioned why his dog was outside, he said: “An old woman approaches me and starts shouting at me. ‘Why is your dog outside? Why are you walking your dog? Your dog can spread disease all around.’

“I just don’t want him to get taken away”.