A Chinese official allegedly beat two poodles to death with an iron rod over fears they would spread the coronavirus.
The pets were reportedly clubbed to death in a residential complex after the community officer and the dogs’ owner got into a heated argument.
He tried to stop the owner from walking his pets on Sunday morning, the Daily Mail reports.
In footage, taken from an undisclosed location, the owner backs away from the community officer and tries to protect one of the pets.
One of them was 10 years old and had crippled back legs, it is claimed.
One user uploaded the video to Chinese-blogging site Weibo with the description: “The officer threatened to beat the owner to death if he didn't give away the dogs.
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They added: “You've killed dogs today. Are you going to kill people tomorrow?
“Where is justice when such violence exists?”
In a post allegedly uploaded by the officer, he apologised for his behaviour.
He said: “I’m deeply sorry and I will compensate the owner accordingly.'
He claimed that residents had been banned from walking their dogs in the complex “out of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak”.
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“The owner refused to listen after our management team had tried to reason with him multiple times”, the post added.
The incident is now being reported by police, Chinese media reports.
Dogs can contract certain types of coronaviruses, but there is no evidence they can spread the deadly COVID-19 strain.
Last month, grim images surfaced showing cats and dogs who were reportedly thrown from tower blocks in China after a rumour circulated claiming that the animals spread the coronavirus.
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One dog was found dead after allegedly being thrown from a tower block in the Heyuan Guohe Garden area of Tianjin City in China’s Hebei Province.
Local media report the pooch was thrown from the upper floors of a tower block at 4am and it hit the sunroof of a car before ending up on the ground.
Reports state the sound of the dog hitting the car woke neighbours up as it sounded like a tyre explosion.
They then found the found lying dead on the ground with its blood staining the bricks.
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