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May 14, 2011

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Dog license fee reduced by 75% in bid to collar city pets

DOG owners are to pay 500 yuan (US$77) a year to license their pets under new regulations - a quarter of what many were previously charged.

The city pricing authority yesterday revealed the figure for the new fee.

That, together with Shanghai's first law governing the keeping of dogs, comes into effect tomorrow.

Pet owners welcomed the reduced charges.

"I've so happy that my little Yorkshire terrier will have a license soon," said Wang Chen, a dog owner who did not previously buy a license and had to dodge checks.

Wang said the 2,000 yuan license was too expensive.

City legislators believe the lower license fee will encourage more dog owners to register their pets.

While there are 140,000 licensed dogs in Shanghai, police estimate there are at least 600,000 without licenses.

Under the new policy, dog owners living within the Inner Ring Road pay 500 yuan for a license.

Those outside the Inner Ring Road pay 300 yuan and those live rural areas are charged 100 yuan.

Owners who have their dogs sterilized pay half the fee, according to the policy.

City police will be the main government body supervising the scheme.

Money raised will go toward city or district government income and details of how it is used will be available to the public.

Foreign residents will come under the same rules as Shanghai residents, including the "one household, one dog" policy.

This permits residents to keep only one dog. The only exemption is for households that already have licenses for more than one dog.

With the cheaper license comes greater responsibility for pet owners.

Under the new rules, an owner who fails to keep their pet on an appropriate leash - it can be no longer than 2 meters - or clear up after it can be fined up to 200 yuan.

Owners whose dogs endanger public safety face fines of between 5,000 to 50,000 yuan, under the new rules.


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