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Harbin ban on big dogs stirs up howls of protest

By  Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying (China Daily)

08:56, April 19, 2012

A dog wears a sign reading "Boycott Harbin dog ban policy" on a street in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Saturday in protest of Harbin's regulation prohibiting large dogs. (Grace / for China Daily)

Police in Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang province, said the city will properly resettle any large dogs it impounds once a ban on raising them takes effect on Nov 1.

Under a new regulation, dogs taller than 50 cm, longer than 70 cm or on a list of 49 breeds considered "dangerous" will be banned from downtown Harbin.

The city adopted the policy to regulate the growing pet population. Under the new policy, households in Harbin may not have more than one dog, and residents are prohibited from raising "large and dangerous" dogs.

According to the regulation, local residents must resettle their large and dangerous dogs between April 1 and Oct 31. After that, police will remove any large dogs from the downtown area.

Reports online suggested that police would kill the animals after rounding them up.

"After Nov 1, we will establish a place where we can put the large dogs, but we will not kill any of them. We will call on organizations and people outside the city to adopt them," said Han Zhi, vice-director of Harbin public security bureau, at a Wednesday news conference.

Though the online rumor that the dogs would be killed was denied, many said they still found it difficult to accept that many docile dogs, including Labradors, Samoyeds and golden retrievers, were on the list.

"When the one-dog policy was published, I never thought that these breeds would be included," said Zhao Boshi, an owner of a 4-year-old golden retriever named Nike.

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