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In a bid to control its growing dog population, a city in China is adopting a policy once used by the Chinese government to deal with their growing human population.
Taking a cue from the nation’s decades-old “one child” policy, which the government revoked last year, the city of Qingdao is set to enforce a “one dog” policy that will limit households to one dog each.
The controversial new regulation will, however, allow residents who already have more than one dog to keep them but they will have to be registered. It has officially in effect in four downtown districts beginning last Thursday, Shanghaiist reports.
Those who fail to register will be forced to surrender their pets to an adoption agency, or pay fines of up to 2,000 yuan (around $300). Certain breeds considered to be “ferocious” by local authorities will now be banned under the new law, which includes Tibetan mastiffs and German shepherds.
According to a local official, the city is simply trying to control the growing number of dogs, which have been causing disturbance and even injury to some residents. According to The Guardian, some observers are worried that the new regulation will result in forced abortions and sterilizations, similar to China’s infamous former family planning policy.
“If I have one of the banned breeds, should I just kill it? According to these rules I have no other choice,” a netizen was quoted as writing.
“In the past, we implemented the one-child policy, now we have the one-dog policy, we do not know how many innocent lives will again be killed,” wrote another on Weibo.
It is important to note, however, that the new law also has provisions that safeguard the canines. Under it, all dogs are now required to be vaccinated. Also, authorities have sets fines of up to 2,000 yuan (around $300) to those who slaughter, mistreat or abandon dogs. For the multiple offenders, their pets will be confiscated.
Similar laws have been enacted in other Chinese cities in the past, with Shanghai passing its own “one dog” policy back in 2011. Some locales also went as far as enforcing a total pet ban, with one Shandong village even threatening to kill all dogs owned by residents when it passed such legislation in 2015.