Hangzhou de­nies beat­ing, killing dogs

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

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Zhang Han

Au­thor­i­ties from East China’s Hangzhou city de­nied that they have beaten or killed any dogs af­ter a reg­u­la­tion took ef­fect last week that bans day­time dog­walk­ing 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 as ac­cused on­line. The vi­ral videos and mes­sages do not in­volve our de­part- ment,” 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 on Thurs­day, af­ter a woman was beaten by a dog owner for chas­ing his un­leashed pet away from her fright­ened child on Novem­ber 3.

The reg­u­la­tion stip­u­lates 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 and bull ter­ri­ers.

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 are re­port­edly 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.

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