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November 5, 2010

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City to lower cost for dog licenses

THE annual license fee for legally owning a pet dog in Shanghai will be lowered, according to a draft of the city's canine-owning regulation.

The regulation, which is expected to take effect next year, aims to better manage the city's large number of pet dogs and reduce cases of unlicensed dogs attacking people. Shanghai is currently home to about 140,000 registered pet dogs, while the number of unlicensed ones could be as high as 600,000, local law-makers said yesterday.

The high cost of the license, 1,000 yuan (US$150) to 2,000 yuan a year, depending on where one lives, is believed to be discouraging people from applying for the license. Now the threshold is likely to be cut to 300 yuan annually, although the exact figure has not yet been decided.

Those who failed to register their dogs will face fines of between 200 and 1,000 yuan.

Licensed pet dogs have a microchip inserted which contains information on the animal - each year dogs are vaccinated against rabies and other infectious diseases.

Li Xin, a local resident who has an unlicensed pet dog, said she is waiting for the reduction in the cost of the license fee. "If it's just 300 yuan, I will immediately register my dog."

Last year, police received nearly 140,000 reports of people being bitten by unlicensed dogs, rising from about 100,000 cases in 2006, said Hu Shunkang, an official with Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

The new regulation also rules that each household is limited to keeping one dog. Once a dog gives birth, the dog's owner must present the puppy to others or send it to adoption agencies before it turns three months old.

As part of the new draft, dogs will be taken by police and sent to adoption agencies if they attack people.

A list of canine breeds which will be banned in Shanghai due to safety concerns has also been published. Dogs such as the Tibetan Mastiff, English Bulldog and Beauceron Wolfdog are all on the list.


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