A recent article in China’s People’s Daily describes how officials and residents in one rural Xinjiang county are benefiting from the use of geese in law enforcement. Last month, a gaggle of 20 geese helped catch a thief who broke into Shawan county police headquarters to steal a motorbike. Just as he was about to get away, “[t]he geese fanned their wings and began shrieking…The duty officer woke up and the thief was caught red handed.” The birds, described as “sharp, keen and brave,” are now being promoted as valuable partners in the Xinjiang region’s war on crime.
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Police chief Zhang Quansheng says the geese can be “more useful than dogs. A household normally keeps one dog [but] an intruder can throw a drugged bun to kill the dog. Geese are normally kept in groups and they have poor eyesight at night making it very difficult for intruders to [poison them].” The inclusion of geese may also help Xinjiang officials focus on other, more pressing regional problems, such as the ongoing interethnic conflicts between Han Chinese and Uighurs. Most recently, confrontations in the city of Turpan caused at least 35 deaths.