A district in southeastern Beijing has banned dogs taller than 35 centimeters (13.78 inches), leaving some owners with no choice but to send them off to be euthanized.
The ban, which came into effect on Dec. 5, requires residents in Tongzhou to “dispose” of their pets within three days, according to Chinese-language news outlets.
Dog owners who fail to comply reportedly face punishment from public security officials.
So far, those unable to save their pets have allegedly scrambled to veterinary hospitals to put them down, resulting in a euthanasia “outbreak,” according to Liberty Times Net.
Some pet owners have reportedly criticized authorities in Tongzhou for the “inhumane” policy.
“This means Golden Retrievers, Samoyeds, Huskies and other large dogs will all be killed,” an anonymous tipster alleged in a message to NextShark. “If the owners fail to ‘dispose’ them, public security will come to collect their dogs and beat them to death in public.”
The source added, “On Weibo, some owners [said they] can’t afford to euthanize their dogs, so they suffocate or beat them to death. The owners had no choice because they did not want their dogs [to be] killed by police.”
NextShark could not verify the claims of the tipster.
In response to the negative reaction, Tongzhou police explained that the ban is actually part of an existing list of “dog management regulations,” which explicitly prohibit raising dogs taller than 35 centimeters (13.78 inches).
The regulations, which first took effect in October 2003, banned dogs of such height in Beijing’s “key management areas” or districts that “make up the heart of the capital,” according to The New York Times.
Specific breeds banned under the regulations include the St. Bernard, Rottweiler, Mastiff, Greyhound, Great Dane, German Shepherd, Dalmatian and Chow-Chow, to name a few.
Relevant government departments also pointed out that their intention is for owners to bring their prohibited pets elsewhere to raise them, not get them killed, according to Sin Chew.
Complaints about large dogs in the district reportedly became frequent in November. At the time, police had given owners the chance to relocate their pets, according to Beijing News.
The situation stayed the same a month later, however, with dog feces being left on other residents’ properties. This forced the local police to issue the Dec. 5 notice.
In August, authorities in Beijing made headlines after banning the walking of dogs in city parks, which reportedly came in a blacklist of “uncivilized behaviors” that included fishing, digging wild vegetables and making loud noises.
“I cannot walk my dog on roads, nor the residential areas,” said Liu Zhe, a resident in Beijing’s Haidian district, according to China Daily. “I usually walked my dog in the park near my home. Sometimes, I run with it, which makes me feel good. Now, I cannot take it to the park. I don’t know where I can be with my dog except at home.”
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