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February 11, 2011

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New dog ownership rules to be finalized

SOME city legislators have said that they would like neighborhood committees to take a more active role in enforcing regulations on dog ownership as the draft of the rules is finalized and discussed.

As there are an estimated 750,000 dogs in the city - both licensed and unlicensed - inadequate enforcement would seriously hinder the management and control of canines in the city.

Hong Kemin, a local lawmaker, said neighborhood committees could be empowered to participate in some areas of management as the current draft version of the regulations states that the police are the only law enforcement body allowed to deal with issues involving dogs.

Ma Huiming, a local teacher, agreed. "It's difficult for local police to deal with all the issues involving dogs, and it might end up in a situation where police only take action when people ask," he said.

In the latest version of the regulations, dogs are required to go through annual checks, have vaccinations against rabies and be licensed.

Another clause in the latest version is that only one dog is allowed for each household in downtown areas and part of the city's suburbs, including Songjiang, Jiading, new towns like Lingang, industrial parks and economic -development parks.

The widely maligned annual license fee of 2,000 yuan (US$304) is likely to be lowered to around 300 yuan.

The new regulations also include punishment clauses such as a 1,000 yuan fine for failing to obtain a pet license and a 2,000 yuan fine for abandoning a dog.


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