XI’AN – Those who are thinking about getting a dog in Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, soon won’t be able to do so without first considering the city’s dog-ownership ordinance, no matter where they live in the city.
A revised draft of the ordinance calls for all parts of Xi’an to be placed under rules that strictly regulate the act of owning a dog.
Xi’an’s former dog-ownership ordinance, issued in 1995 and revised in 2004, made the restriction apply only to the city’s downtown, a heritage conservation area, a scenic resort, development zones and residential districts.
Xi’an Mayor Chen Baogen said the new ordinance will take effect after being approved by the Xi’an People’s Congress.
There have been various cases in recent years of dogs attacking people in the city. A rural woman was also found dead at her farm in the city’s Chang’an district on June 11, a victim, some believe, of dogs kept in a nearby brick kiln.
According to an investigation conducted by the Internal Affairs and Justice Committee of the Xi’an People’s Congress, the city contains more than 80,000 registered dogs and many more that are unregistered.
Cai Bingchen, director of the Xi’an oversight office for dog ownership, told China Daily that the current dog-ownership ordinance is not strong enough to prevent people from illegally keeping dogs and that many own large and ferocious dogs that they do not properly control.
In addition to placing higher fees on dog owners, the proposed ordinance also stipulates that city residents will be prohibited from keeping large and ferocious dogs. If the ordinance is approved, those who keep that kind of dog would see the dog confiscated and be forced to pay a fine of from 500 yuan to 1,000 yuan ($77 to $155).
The ordinance would also forbid dogs from entering stores and shops, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, buses and other public vehicles, schools, museums, libraries, parks, squares and other public places.
The ordinance, at the same time, would make exceptions for the old, blind and severely disabled. They would not have to pay fees to keep various sorts of guide and assistants.
Cai said the revised ordinance would not place restrictions on the ownership of dogs in rural areas, largely because the dogs kept by farmers are often used as watch dogs and assistant dogs.
Even so, those who have dogs in such places should attach them to chains to prevent them from leaving their yards. If they do not, they will be fined.
Meng Zonglin, deputy director of the Xi’an Public Security Bureau, said dog owners whose dogs seriously injure other people will be punished.
Residents welcomed the proposed revision of the city’s dog-ownership ordinance. A woman surnamed Xu said she is happy the new ordinance contains exceptions for the lonely, elderly and disabled.
A woman named Zhang Keyao, who lives in the city’s Yanta residential community, said she hopes the measure will come into effect as soon as possible.
“There are too many dogs kept in our community and some of them are large,” she said. “I often feel threatened by dogs when they suddenly run up to me. I wish owners would put their pets on leashes when they took them out.”
Li Zhou, another resident who keeps a little dog in the community, said, “I have no objection to the strict management of dog ownership in the city, but I do not think the authorities are charging dog owners what they should be charged.
“Dogs are our friends, and we need these friends in our lives.”
Source: China Daily