East China city denies beating, killing dogs amid campaign to reign in dog-raisers’ behaviors

By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/18 20:08:40

New regulation reigns in dog-raisers’ behaviors, bans daytime dog-walking

Dog owners queue up with their dogs at an office in Xiacheng District of Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province on Thursday to get dog ownership certificates. The city started the campaign on Thursday to reign in dog owners' behavior, stipulating that without a permit, owners could face fines as high as 5,000 yuan ($720) per pet. Photo: IC

Authorities from East China's Hangzhou city denied they have beaten or killed any dogs after a regulation took effect last week that bans daytime dog-walking amid other policies to reign in dog-raisers' behaviors.

Videos circulating online recently purportedly showed Hangzhou urban management officers, also known as chengguan, confiscating and killing dogs.   

Chengguan officers have denied the accusations and called the origins of the videos into question.

Hangzhou urban management department did not beat or torture dogs in any single case during the campaign aiming to regulate dog owners' behaviors as accused online. The viral videos and messages do not involve our department, the department said in a public letter on Saturday.

Local resident Wang Xin also dismissed the authenticity of the videos. "The response is irrational. It ignores the fact that some chengguan in several videos are wearing short sleeved shirts too thin for Hangzhou's winter," Wang told the Global Times.

The new regulation came into effect after a woman was beaten by a dog owner for chasing his unleashed pet away from her frightened child on November 3.

According to the regulation, dog owners found without a permit face fines as high as 5,000 yuan ($720) per pet. Dogs without licenses will be seized. 

The regulation also specifies a list of 33 dog breeds that are illegal to own. Most are medium to large size breeds, such as Tibetan mastiffs, bull terriers, and Doberman Pinschers.

It includes other restrictions: a tighter leash law, a ban on dog walking from 7am to 7pm, and no dogs in public places such as parks.

With the regulation in place, animal hospitals across Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province are vaccinating more than 800 dogs daily, compared to an average of 40 before the regulation, a city official told Zhejiang Online on Sunday.

Some districts have reported running out of vaccination certificates in the rush, the website reported.

However, the campaign faces mounting pressure from Hangzhou dog owners.

An owner of two dogs surnamed Li told the Global Times on Sunday that her applications for dog licenses were denied several times because she could not provide the property certificate for her rented flat.

"I only dare walk my dogs at midnight," Li said, noting many other dog owners also have difficulty providing the more than 10 documents the permit requires. 

The 1,000 yuan application fee and 500 yuan annual renewal fee are "too high without providing any services like tracking chips or free vaccinations," Li said.

Li and hundreds of dog owners have since drafted a petition calling for the revision of the regulation that bans popular species, like golden retrievers and French bulldogs.

Newspaper headline: Hangzhou denies beating, killing dogs


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