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March 2, 2010

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Canine control proposal: Vaccinate, or pay fine

VACCINATING the dog will turn into a mandatory duty for each canine owner in Shanghai, with violators facing a penalty up to 1,000 yuan (US$146), according to a draft of the city's new animal quarantine law.

Local legislators yesterday held the first group discussion of the law's first draft.

The regulation is expected to pass sometime after June.

When it goes into effect, Shanghai's dog owners will for the first time face fines for failing to vaccinate their dogs, a practice they have long been urged to carry out.

Dog vaccination is one of the key aspects in an effort that's underway to beef up the city's animal quarantine rules, seen as important for public safety.

Agricultural and animal quarantine authorities would be responsible for vaccinating the dogs every year.

After each shot, a dog would also have an ID-recording chip planted under its skin, according to the draft.

Legislators proposing the law said the city is in great need of strong legal support to fortify anti-rabies precautions.

Despite a tiny rate of rabies cases reported in Shanghai, most of canines raised citywide remain unregistered with police, creating an alarming potential for rabies infection.

Legislators currently working on the city's first dedicated dog-raising law said earlier that they believe there are at least 800,000 home-raised dogs in Shanghai, not including strays, but only about a quarter of them are police-registered and licensed.

A dog license means canine owners have paid police 1,000 or 2,000 yuan annually, based on where the dogs are raised.

The licensing service also includes planting an ID-chip to the dog and providing a vaccine shot every year.


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