Pet parents in the coastal Chinese city of Qingdao are upset about a new regulation that limits residents to one dog per household and also bans certain breeds, including Pit Bulls and Doberman Pinschers.
According to the China News Service, households with more than one dog will be fined 2,000 yuan ($294) and any canines let outside must be wearing their tags. "The dog tags can be picked up when dog owners register their pets and cost 400 yuan each," the article noted.
In addition to registration, dogs must have the rabies vaccine as well, The Beijing News reported.
Even more controversial, perhaps, is the city's decision to ban more than 40 breeds, due to their "behavior." The new rules are allegedly in response to public outcry from animal attacks and, as China News Service explained, people are claiming it is "a good way to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership."
While some Qingdao citizens are OK with the decision, others are upset by the registration fees or outraged that "gentle" dogs like the Newfoundland are being banned, Mashable.com reported.
Dr. Peter Li, a China policy specialist for Humane Society International, described China as a "transitional society." Urban animal management was never a public policy issue until the last few decades, thanks to rising living standards and disposable income, he said.
"Qingdao authorities are yet to modernize not only in urban animal management but also in policy-making," he said. The Qingdao policy is nothing short of a "copycat" of similar policies that faced scrutiny, Li argued. "A poor policy can be worse than the lack of any policy."
"[Qingdao authorities] should have known that a book is not to be judged by its cover," Li added. "A dog is not judged by its size or breed."
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