Dog owners should be taxed to help dampen urbanites' enthusiasm in raising the pets as the fear of rabies is rising with an increasing number of pet dogs in cities, a Chinese lawmaker said on Monday.
China needs a law to regulate pet dog raising and balance the interests between dog owners and those who do not raise the pets, as the increasing dog population is making more troubles to society, said Jiang Deming, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), on the sidelines of the top legislature's annual session.
Dog owners should pay tax to share the cost in city management incurred by their pets, such as dog dung collecting, the lawmaker from eastern Jiangsu Province said, adding he has submitted a proposal on enacting such a law.
The rising number of dog pets has led to the increase of rabies cases in cities, and the revenue from dog ownership taxation can be exclusively used for rabies prevention and urban sanitation, said Jiang, who admits his proposal on dog ownership taxation might be attacked by dog owners.
Taxation can also help discourage low-income people, especially those subsidized by governments, to raise dogs, said Jiang.
In addition to taxation, dangerous or large dogs should be banned in populous urban areas, Jiang said.
Rabies, often spread by dogs, attacks the nervous system and is fatal to humans if not treated prior to the onset of symptoms. With a death rate of about 84 percent, rabies continued to be the most deadly infectious disease in China.
Rabies killed more than 2,000 people across the country in 2006, according to media reports.