A new restriction on the number of dogs that citizens in Beijing are allowed to have in their home have left many people thinking that the new scheme is barking mad.
For many years China has had strict restrictions on a one child family and is looking to reinforce a similar rule to families that own a dog. However, in their pursuit of Western trends and China’s growing influence, more middle class families are becoming dog owners.
The one-dog policy, which started to be enforced on the 15th May, is aiming to crack down on an estimated 600,000 unregistered dogs. The rules however have come under fierce opposition from owners.
Guo Huiying, a 56 year old dog owner, stated:
“I have two dogs. The new policy says each family can only have one dog, but we have been living together for five years.”
“They are family to me, I cannot just give one of them up. I am thinking about keeping one of them at my relative’s house.”
Pampered dogs are a regular sight on the streets of Beijing but the number of strays is increasing significantly due to the increase in dogs been abandoned as a result of the crackdown. There has also been a big increase in dogs fouling in public places.
Shanghai’s dog population is thought to be around 800,000, although it is believed that only a quarter of these dogs are actually registered because of expensive costs. Other cites that include strict dog laws include Nanjing, which restricts the ownership of large dogs.