Stray dog management

Since May there have been quite a few reports of stray dog attacks across the country. All these point to the urgency of effective stray dog management.

Since May there have been quite a few reports of stray dog attacks across the country. The Legal Daily reported recently that a female college student, while walking on her campus in Hunan Province, was hospitalized after being attacked by six stray dogs. In Beijing a stray dog recently injured eight people, of whom a 5-year-old boy suffered severe facial injuries. In Zhejiang Province one victim died of rabies blamed on a stray dog attack a month previously.

All these point to the urgency of effective stray dog management.

It is observed that most stray dogs were once owned by people who failed to have the animal licensed, vaccinated or sterilized before they are given up. This explains the multiplication of stray dogs, many of whom carrying diseases. The lax enforcement of local dog management regulations and the fine meted out to owners often leave irresponsible dog owners undeterred.

According to some regulations, owners who abandon a dog can be fined up to 2,000 yuan (US$300). But the amount varies. In this regard, Germany’s practice could indicate a possible solution. There, owners have to pay tax and insurance for their pets, and abandoning a pet is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90,000 euros (US$105,318). It might explain why stray dogs are rarely seen there.

Heavy penalties might deter, but technology can also be pressed into service. In Shanghai, for instance, it is stipulated that all dogs must be implanted with a biochip storing information like owner identity and vaccination history. Thus when a dog is abandoned or lost, the chip can help track down the owner.

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