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November 10, 2009

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Strict new dog laws infuriate pet owners

POLICE in a south China city said they would take anyone who walked an unleashed dog on public streets in for questioning, which has aroused outrage among pet owners.

Guangzhou police said they had started a citywide crackdown on dangerous dogs.

Those who don't clean up their pet's waste or register them with authorities also face questioning and a 2,000-yuan (US$293) fine, Guangzhou Daily reported yesterday.

The city's public security bureau said it would start to clear dangerous dogs from Guangzhou's streets, but did not define the term "dangerous dog."

Guangzhou's controversial regulations on pet dogs came into effect in July and have attracted criticism ever since.

City residents said it was not realistic for police officers to question every dog owner who breached regulations as the rules were too detailed.

"What if my hand slips and my dog briefly runs free - will I be interrogated too?" asked a dog owner surnamed Zhao who described the regulations as "a joke."

Police said all dogs should be muzzled so that they cannot bite, and only adults can take their pet dogs for a walk.

Only one dog is allowed to be registered per family.


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