Xi'an keeps large dogs out of center

Updated: 2012-02-04 08:12

By Ma Lie (China Daily)

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XI'AN - Residents of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, have to send away their large and strong dogs as the restricting regulation for dog keeping was put into force on Wednesday, but police are giving dog owners time to make arrangements.

Xi'an keeps large dogs out of center

A dog helps his owner go shopping on a street in Xi'an last year. Provided to China Daily 

A resident surnamed Song was stopped by two police officers in a downtown street on Friday morning when he was walking his golden retriever. He was told the regulation barred him from keeping such a large dog.

Song told the officers that his dog was registered and showed its license and vaccination record, adding that the animal was very gentle.

"I can't keep such a gentle dog?" Song asked.

"No, because it's one of the large breeds listed in the regulation. You'll have to send it away," said Li Ximin, one of the officers.

Song told China Daily he got the dog two years ago and was deeply attached to it. "It will be very hard for me to lose my pet, but I understand the regulation and will do my best to comply," Song said.

Some non-dog-owners have welcomed the regulation. Some who had dogs thought that it was too strict.

"I have a legal license for a large dog, and my dog never caused any trouble. I won't get rid of it. I'll just never take it outside my house," said a resident surnamed Liu.

Under the regulation, approved on Sept 28 by the city's people's congress, residents are not allowed to have large, strong dogs inside the city's Third Ring Road, or to bring them to residential neighborhoods, scenic areas, schools, hospitals and grounds of companies elsewhere in the city.

Thirty-four dog breeds are listed, including the chow, pit bull, Dogo Argentino, Tibetan mastiff and German shepherd, and other dogs whose shoulder height exceeds half a meter are also banned.

Offenders will be fined from 1,000 to 2,000 yuan ($160 to $320), and their dogs will be impounded.

Xi'an police have decided to give some buffer time and are telling owners of large dogs to send their pets away before the end of February. They will take action on March 1, Meng Zonglin, deputy director of Xi'an public security bureau, said at a police briefing on Wednesday.

According to city data, there are about 256,900 dogs in the urban areas, and authorities say they receive reports of dog attacks almost daily.

On June 11, a 58-year-old farmer in the city's Diaozhonggou village was killed by several dogs kept by a brick factory near her farm.

The Shaanxi provincial center for disease control and prevention says that over the past two years, more than 10 people a day came to the center for vaccinations after dog attacks.

It is not the first time that Chinese cities have imposed strict restrictions on dog ownership. In May 2011, Shanghai introduced a regulation that allows families to keep only one dog.