Dog owners living in downtown Jiangmen, Guandong Province have been told they will have to move their pets out of the city or face having them seized or put down as part of a newly launched local government campaign.
The rule, announced July 28, was drawn up by five city government bodies, including the public security bureau, agricultural bureau and urban management bureau.
The rule bans dogs from downtown Pengjiang, Jianghai and Xinhui districts, with exceptions for those kept for special purposes.
Dog owners without a permit in the restricted area must decide what to do with their pets by August 10. After that, government workers will contact those who refuse to comply with the rule in a two-week campaign.
Starting August 26, any dogs seen in the restricted area will either be seized or killed.
The move aims to “prevent and control rabies, maintain public order and sanitation, and create a sound environment for the people,” the Jiangmen Daily reported, citing a government announcement.
Gong Rongmao, a veterinarian from the local agricultural bureau, told the Nanfang Daily that all seized dogs will be sent to a shelter in the suburbs.
“After that, dogs found with diseases will be euthanized in a humanitarian manner. We will sign agreements with owners before putting down their dogs,” Li Wantong, technology director at an animal disease control center under the city’s agricultural bureau, told the Global Times.
“We will try to find solutions for healthy ones, as we do not have the capacity to keep a large number of them,” Li said.
He added he had received eight to 10 dogs every day since the rule was announced, along with 30 to 50 enquiries daily.
Li estimated that the new rule will likely affect more than 30,000 dogs in the city of 4 million people.
This is not the first anti-dog campaign to be launched in Jiangmen. Back in August 2005, the city also encouraged people living in downtown areas to hand in their dogs, but received no response.
Jiangmen Daily said that a total of 42 people died from rabies in the last three years.
“I am opposed to keeping dogs in the city. They are truly annoying,” a 31-year-old driver surnamed Lin told the Global Times, noting that many dog owners love their dogs but care little about others.
“In my community, there are too many dogs. Their excrement is everywhere in the courtyard and parks, and their barking always disrupts my sleep,” Lin said.
However, dog owners