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Dogs must be leashed outdoors in China from May 1

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-01 15:26


BEIJING -- Dog owners must keep their furry friends on a leash in outdoor areas as China's revised Law on Animal Epidemic Prevention takes effect on Saturday.

Previously, only local regulations in some provincial regions required dog owners to keep their pets on a leash in public areas.

Chinese lawmakers adopted the revision in January in a bid to prevent dogs from hurting people, as well as to reduce transmission of infectious diseases.

Dogs should also wear a dog tag, be inoculated against rabies and registered with local authorities, according to the law.

Many people have voiced support for the new provisions via social networks. "Finally, I won't be bothered with dogs that run into me abruptly," says a comment on China's Twitter-like social media platform Weibo.

"Ultimately, it's not a bad thing for dog owners and their pets," says a blogger who claims that she always uses a leash to walk her dog, adding that "it will keep dogs from hurting each other and prevent them from being involved in car accidents."

Some dog lovers also called for the establishment of pet parks in cities for dogs to play freely.

The number of dog owners topped 36 million in China's urban areas as of 2019, according to a white paper on China's pet business published by a Chinese pet industry website.

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