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article imageShanghai's one dog policy now in effect

By Lynn Curwin     May 16, 2011 in Lifestyle
Shanghai - Shanghai residents who have more than one dog could be in trouble if they have not already registered their pets, as a one-dog per household policy has now gone into effect.
Owners had until Sunday, May 15 to register dogs, which had to be vaccinated and microchipped first, in order to legally keep more than one canine.
Stray dogs can be seen in many parts of the city and the rule is designed to help stop the spread of rabies, which results in about 2,500 deaths in China each year.
It was estimated that only about 140,000 of the approximately 800,000 dogs in Shanghai were registered.
"Some of my friends from the dog lovers club say they don't want to register their pets because they don't take them outside, to keep them clean," Cao Yi, who has two dogs, told the Huffington Post.
Under the new rules the cost of dog registration has dropped dramatically, going from 2,000 yuan (US$307 - £189) to 500 yuan (US$77 - £47) in the most expensive area. Those outside of that area pay 300 yuan and the cost for rural areas is now 100 yuan.
Many dogs were taken in for vaccinations recently, with some people postponing regular vaccines to take advantage of the low rates.
"I was told to wait for two months," Chen Yi, who would normally have taken her dog in in March, told the Shanghai Daily.
Another woman, Zhao, took in her poodle, which she has had for years, in to be chipped and registered. She said it was too expensive before, but the new cost is reasonable.
Owners can now be fined if they do not keep their dog leashed and clean up after it, if their dog endangers public safety, or is they abuse or abandon their dogs.
"The regulation is not only aimed at encouraging dog owners to conduct themselves well while raising pets, but also elaborates on their legal obligations," CNNGo quoted Ding Wei, the leader of the panel that drew up the rules, as saying.
The Independent reported that dogs larger than three feet will be banned from the centre of the city and those considered "attack dogs", including bulldogs, are banned completely.
Similar laws limiting dog ownership already exist in some other Chinese cities including Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.
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