A Chinese county has been forced to reassess the ban on dog walking in public after the extreme attempt to stop pet-related incidents and disputes sparked an angry backlash.
The political directive from authorities in Weixin, Yunnan province, said all dogs should be kept indoors and repeated violations would result in the animal’s destruction.
An enforcement official said the directive was prompted by a series of incidents, including unaccompanied dogs biting members of the public.
“Lately there have been a few cases in the county with dogs injuring people and dog owners not taking care of their dog’s feces. Some of them even got into a fight with cleaners, ”Wu said.
The policy was due to go into effect on Friday, but the “strong backlash” from the community had prompted authorities to reconsider it, a supervising local government official said.
Disputes over pets have made headlines several times in China, resulting in various restrictions, including a unique dog rule in Qingdao city, Sixth Tone reports.
Weixin’s policy reports have been viewed more than 200 million times on Chinese social media, drawing thousands of comments, many agreeing that stricter regulations are needed around pet ownership, but criticizing the severity of restrictions.
“If all forms of dog walking are banned in the urban area, isn’t that directly equivalent to declaring a ban on keeping a dog?” Ms. Li, a resident of Weixin, told local media.
“Dogs across the county shouldn’t have to put up with the consequences of the bad behavior of a few dog owners.”
Animals Asia, an animal welfare NGO, said studies have shown dogs need to be promoted at least once a day. “But like in many countries, it is the responsibility of the dog owner to keep his pet under control,” he says.
“We hope that local authorities can work with the general public to ensure that dogs live in harmony with the local community, and that dog walking will be part of any long-term solution to problems with dog interaction. / human.”
Additional reporting by Lillian Yang