China may have a strict policy on just one child per family, but until now many of its cities had no such laws on dogs, such as Shanghai. However, a controversial ruling that would limit the number of dogs per Chinese household, which was introduced in Guangzhou last year, is being debated in Shanghai.
The policy, if introduced, would limit each Chinese household to having just one dog, regardless of how many dogs they currently own. The families would then have to choose which of their dogs they wanted to keep, and get rid of the others.
The news was announced in the newspaper the China Daily last week, a state run newspaper. The newspaper added that dog owners would be required to neuter any male dogs, and to give puppies away before they reached the age of three months. If they couldn’t find anyone to take the puppies, they would have to be handed over to the government and a special ‘adoption agency’.
If the new law is passed dog owners would have to get rid of all but one of their dogs next year, under a penalty of a 1,000 yuan fine.
The rule is being considered because of crowded living conditions in the city. Statistics released by the government in 2008 showed that 18.9 million people live in the city, and there are 2,978 people living in each square kilometre.
The government run China Daily also stated that there were 800,000 dogs in Shanghai, and an average of 100,000 reported incidents of dog attacks each year.
Pet lovers in China believe the rule, if brought in, could be very hard to enforce.