Lower fees encourage owners to register dogs

10:34, May 17, 2011      

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A dog is vaccinated in Shanghai on Sunday. A new dog management regulation in the municipality took effect on that day. Weng Lei / for China Daily

Dog owners in the city have welcomed the new regulation for pet dog management that came into force in the city on Sunday.

The new rules achieve a better balance between the desires of dog owners and non-dog owners, said Zhang Yi, director of the Shanghai Small Animal Protection Association.

The new regulation lowers the licensing fee for dogs in the downtown area from 2,000 yuan ($300) to 500 yuan and in the suburbs from 1,000 yuan to 300 yuan.

"This will surely encourage dog owners to get their pets registered for a license," Zhang told China Daily.

The previously high cost of registration meant many dog owners failed to register their pets, as a result, every few months, especially in June and August, the police would send out patrol trucks to collect unlicensed dogs in the streets, not just abandoned stray dogs, but also unregistered pets.

"This regulation doesn't limit the protection to only licensed dogs, which means there should be no cruel disposal of dogs by the authorities," said Zhang.

The police will impound stray dogs and people can adopt them and get a license for them within 30 days, Zhang said. "Beyond that period, I'd suggest putting them to sleep in a humane way. It will be unfair to keep unwanted dogs at the expense of the taxpayer," he said.

The new regulation strictly forbids abusing or abandoning dogs.

Breeds, such as Rottweiler, German Shepherds and several types of mastiffs and bulldogs are also banned under the new regulation.

A police post on the Internet reads: "Any of these fierce dogs kept by private households will be taken away".

Apple Huang, a woman who keeps two licensed dogs in suburban Shanghai - one registered to each of the two properties that her family own - said she agrees with the decision to ban fierce dogs.

"They do have a tendency to attack. Dogs and their owners need proper training but few receive it in Shanghai. As long as the puppies come with the right look, the breeder doesn't care much about their personalities," she said.

Huang's complaint with the local administration is the lack of service.

"We pay the license fee annually, but don't receive any service except for the vaccination and ID chip. No public park allows dogs in, and the available parks for pets are at least an hour's drive away in the countryside," she said.

The more you shut dogs up and stop them exercising, the more they will bark, which causes problems with neighbors, Zhang said.

The local police have yet to announce how the new regulation will be implemented.

Zhuang Liqiang, a spokesperson with the municipal police, told China Daily that he was not aware of "any specific plan for implementation of the new rules", and "no plan has been made to catch unlicensed dogs".

It is estimated Shanghai has more than 600,000 dogs, but only 50,000 of them were licensed as of 2010.

Source:China Daily
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