Starting May 1 in the Chinese mainland, dog-owners must have their pets on a leash in public spaces.
The move is part of an update to the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law of the People’s Republic of China. Other new amendments include a requirement that dogs wear a tag when outside.
In some parts of the country, it seems the public is even being encouraged to report dog-owners who do not respect the rules.
For instance, the mini-program set up by the police force in Hefei city, Anhui province features a special platform allowing users to upload photo and video evidence of non-compliant owners.
China already enforces strict rules for dog ownership. Many cities require owners to register their dogs with the local public security bureau.
READ MORE: How to Register Your Dog in Beijing
It's not the first time that rules have been tightened, although usually they tend to be city-specific such as those enforced in Wuhan in 2018.
Recently in Beijing, a viral video showed a dog-owner walking around a park in Chaoyang district without his pet on a leash. He reportedly also allowed it to defecate.
The 65-year-old man, surnamed Zhao, can be heard shouting angrily at the person filming him. After the Chaoyang Public Security Bureau investigated Zhao, they found his dog was not registered for annual health checks. He was later issued with a fine totaling RMB2,500.
Beijing already has some of the strictest rules for dog ownership in China. Owners are banned from walking their pets in certain areas, notably Tiananmen Square and West Chang’an Street (chang’an xijie).
It is unclear how the new rules will be enforced in certain areas of the country. In the countryside, for instance, dogs can often be seen roaming free.
Nonetheless, the rules are effective from May 1. Dog owners, you have been warned!
[Cover image via Pixabay]