GUANGZHOU - A university here has banned the keeping of dogs as pets on campus.
The ban has rankled some students who complain it is an infringement of their rights.
Jinan University, which has hundreds of overseas Chinese students, imposed the ban last week. The reason is too many dogs are being brought on campus, causing disruption.
"Dogs cannot appear on campus anymore. If they do, we will take them away," Yang Guangsheng, an official of the university's security department, said.
Yang said owners of dogs that have been licensed will be told to send them home or put in the care of friends or relatives. Unlicensed dogs will be sent to the police station.
Dogs without owners will be considered strays, and the security department will be allowed to put them down, Yang said.
He said the university will strictly follow the city's regulations on keeping dogs, and work with the local public security bureau. So far, the university has rounded up dozens of stray dogs.
Some students support the university's ban. They said keeping dogs in dormitories and letting them wander about on campus was a nuisance. Others, however, disagree.
About one-third of students from Hong Kong and Macao keep dogs on campus.
"We love our dogs, we don't want them to be given to other people," Tracy Chan, a student from Hong Kong, said.
"My dog is very docile, it seldom barks or disturbs others," Chan said. "I think the university should respect our lifestyle."
Liang Bin, an official with the university's publicity office, said: "Campus is a place to study, it is not a center for pets.
"Students live on campus as a group, they must respect the rights of the majority."
Liang said a few students had moved out of the campus and rented apartments in a bid to keep their dogs.
He said the university is only restricting the keeping of dogs, other pets such as cats or rabbits are not included.
Many other universities forbid or allow the keeping of certain pets.
Sun Yat-sen University only allows turtles or fish. While Guangdong University of Technology, bans dogs and cats, a ban that has been enforce for many years.
The Guangzhou public security bureau has a clear regulation on the keeping of dogs.
They must be registered, and immunized regularly. Dogs must not be allowed in public places, such as hospitals, cinemas and schools.
Jinan University's ban is legal, the bureau said.