Proposal calls for better dog management

Shanghai People's Congress is looking for new ways to regulate the city's pet pooches.

Shanghai People’s Congress is investigating local dog management policies after its deputy proposed better regulation of the city’s pet pooches.

According to a proposal made by Deputy Xue Yuan, dog owners should register their animals; and those who fail to comply should not be allowed to keep dogs older than three months. The document mentions that dog management regulations first took effect in Shanghai in 2011.

Last year the number of locally-registered dogs reached 184,000, an increase of about 25 percent from 2016. However, Xue’s research finds that some owners are reluctant to registered their dogs because of high associated costs, complicated procedures and lack of penalties for non-compliance.

The proposal suggests that the local People’s Congress should evaluate how the regulations actually work and adopt measures like deferred service fees, online registration and loss of credit for those who do not register.

At a canine epidemic prevention station in Jing’an District, where residents can register their dogs, an officer said the annual registration fee for local dogs ranges from 300 to 500 yuan. An electronic chip costs 60 yuan and vaccine shots cost at least 60 yuan.

Under current regulations, dogs must be registered each year. To obtain registration, owners must also show that their animal’s annual vaccine record is up to date.

City’s public security bureau said they will work with the neighborhoods, residents and property management companies on this issue. They will consider making dog registration easier, regulating services at registration sites and taking efforts to promote registration. Meanwhile, they will launch investigations into people who refuse to register their dog and allow their dogs to disturb others. Such infractions will be recorded in a credit system.

They will also work to prevent unlicensed and stray dogs from hurting people.

Chino Xie, a local dog owner, told Shanghai Daily that she believes the majority of dog owners would pay for registration if the procedure were simpler and the regulations were effective and reasonable.

“I think a reason people fail to register their dogs is that they feel it’s just a procedure and without real consequence. They have no idea about where the money goes.”

“On the other side, animal abuse should also be punished,” she said. “If the money taken from us can be used for things like rescue, sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs and cats, it would contribution to society and owners will agree to pay it.”

Little information

An owner who did not register her dog told Shanghai Daily that she has seen little information on registration in her neighborhood. She felt the procedure, which requires many documents and certificates, was complicated.

She also speculated that more people would register their animals if things were simplified.

Jiang Zhaohua, director of the emergency department at Shanghai Punan Hospital in the Pudong New Area, said in recent years the number of dog-bite patients has increased.

“The number has seen a yearly increase of about 10 to 15 percent starting from 2015,” Jiang told Shanghai Daily. “Spring and summer are two peak seasons for dog bites, when the dogs are in heat and wear less.”

According to Jiang, about 100 people are bitten each day by dogs. The majority of cases involve children and the elderly. In the case of children, many are bitten while teasing or playing aggressively with a dog.

He calls for a tougher management on both strays and pet dogs.

“If a person is bitten by a dog, they should wash the wound immediately and soon get a rabies vaccine injection,” said Jiang.

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