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Demand for cut in dog registration fees
Latest Updated by 2006-03-28 10:31:36
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GUANGZHOU: An academic has urged authorities of Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, to slash the cost of licensing pet dogs.

Zhu Xingquan, professor of parasitology at South China Agricultural University, says reducing fees will allow better control of potential canine disease and may prompt a growth in pet ownership, thereby boosting the local economy.

Zhu is also a member of the Standing Committee of Guangzhou Municipal Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

In his proposal to the annual meeting of the municipal committee last week, Zhu called for a reduction in the dog licensing fee from the current 10,000 yuan (US$1,250) to 1,000 yuan (US$125), with the subsequent annual fee to be reduced from 6,000 yuan (US$740) to 500 yuan (US$62).

"The current charge is far from the reach of most dog owners," Zhu told China Daily.

Official statistics show that the per capita annual disposable income of the urban population of Guangzhou stands at 18,287 yuan (US$2,255), while the per capita net income in rural areas was 7,080 yuan (US$988) last year.

Given the hefty charge, most dog owners choose to raise their dogs illegally. The ever-increasing dog population in Guangzhou is currently estimated at 100,000, but less than 1 per cent of these dogs have been registered.

During regular crackdowns, authorities send out teams to confiscate illegal dogs and this has prompted many dog owners to limit their dog's outdoor activities.

A woman who adopts stray dogs reportedly chose to move to the suburb to avoid fees and the crackdowns.

"You can only manage the dogs well if you have a clear picture of them," Zhu said.

He said he believed the majority of people would be more inclined to licence their puppies at the rates he suggested.

A clerk at a logistics company in Guangzhou, Xu, owns three puppies and is a member of a local pet dog club. She agrees that lowering the fees will prompt more people to licence their dogs.

Zhu also recommended that dogs receive free vaccinations against rabies upon registration, to better control the spread of the disease as offered in many other cities.

He also called for further regulation of the pet market and pet clinics, with more institutions set up to promote related information and provide training.

"Dogs can be trained to stop excessive barking and random defecation, and their owners need to be better educated to train them," he said.

According to Zhu, the dog population could be better managed by transferring its administration from the police to city management authorities, the staff of which should be trained.

Editor: Yan

By: Li Wenfang Source: China Daily Website
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