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Bite taken out of fees for dogs
( 2003-09-08 12:36) (eastday.com)

Beijing municipal People's Congress has approved a new regulation on domestic dogs, which relaxes restrictions and lowers registration fees.

Under the new regulation which went effect on Friday, registration fees of 5,000 yuan (US$604) in the first year and 2,000 yuan a year thereafter have been lowered to 1,000 yuan and 500 yuan respectively.

The old regulation, which was made eight years ago, required "strict" limiting of dog ownership and control of their numbers, while the new one focused instead on "strict management and combining restrictions with management," said Li Xiaojuan, a member of the BMPC.

The revision of the old regulation started two years ago, but the results were delayed because disputes on keeping dogs always existed and both sides seemed justified.

"Dog-keeping is purely a private matter and it should not be restricted," said Wang Li, a retired government official living in the city's Xicheng District.

However xie Minghua, who lives in a building no more than 20 meters from Wang's, worried that dogs could spread diseases.

"In addition, look, dogs' dirt is all over the streets now," he complained.

Statistics of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security showed by the end of last year, there were some 1.4 million dogs in Beijing, only one-tenth of which were registered.

The dog owners in urban Beijing are mostly middle and low-income earners, including laid-off workers and single elderly people, according to the public security bureau.

"Cheaper dog registration will encourage more residents to keep their pets legally instead of ignoring the regulation," said Li Xiaojuan, also deputy director of the legal system bureau of the BMPC.

Under the new regulation, prospective dog owners should apply for permission from their neighborhood committee instead of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Security, which used to be in charge of managing dogs.

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