Hangzhou, Wuhan and Wenshan shocked canine owners across China with their recent clampdown on dogs and dog-owners. Even though Shenzhen has yet to follow suit, calls for tougher rules on irresponsible dog-keeping are increasing.
This comes following a significant leap in dog-related disputes, including incidences of dogs biting, injuring and disturbing people over the past couple years.
According to Shenzhen Daily, dog-related complaints in 2017 increased by 20 percent to around 3,400 compared to 2016. Between January and October of this year, the number reached 3,293. Among those attacks 3,010 were dog-biting cases, which averages out at roughly 300 attacks each month, according to The Paper.
Furthermore, out of an estimated 200,000 dogs currently in Shenzhen, less than a quarter have been registered.
Meanwhile, it’s been 12 years since Shenzhen introduced laws to regulate dog-keeping.
Under the current rules, fines for irresponsible dog-keeping in normal cases range between RMB200 to RMB1,000, which, according to an anonymous officer at Shenzhen Public Security Bureau, are not high enough to have an effect on irresponsible dog owners.
Yang Qin, a National People’s Congress representative in Shenzhen, said that the low penalty fee for not looking after your dog is a major factor in the increasing number of dog-related issues. Law enforcement's lack of accountability has also played a large role in fostering the idea that “dog owners can leave their pets however they want without a consequence.”
Law enforcement, as revealed by the Shenzhen Urban Management Bureau, needs more personnel, enforcement measures and funds for tackling such matters.
To address these issues, the Urban Management Bureau has been collaborating with the Law School of Shenzhen University in drafting new regulations, with Huang Yaying, dean at the law school, proposing that irresponsible dog-keeping behaviors should be included in one's social credit system.
[Cover image via Unsplash]