An enforcement official said the directive was prompted by a string of incidents, including unaccompanied dogs biting members of the public.
“Lately there have been a few cases in the county with dogs injuring people, and dog owners not taking care of their dog’s waste. Some of them have even fought with cleaners,” Wu said.
The policy was scheduled to take effect on Friday but the “strong backlash” from the community had prompted authorities to reconsider it, an official in the local supervision administration said.Disputes over pets have repeatedly made the news in China, resulting in various restrictions including a one-dog rule in the city of Qingdao, Sixth Tone reports. Reports of Weixin’s policy were viewed more than 200m times on Chinese social media, drawing thousands of comments, many agreeing there needed to be stronger regulation around pet ownership but criticising the severity of the restrictions.
“If all forms of dog walking are prohibited in the urban area, isn’t that directly equivalent to declaring a ban on dog keeping?” Ms Li, a Weixin resident, told local media.
Be Diligent about Vet Visits. “Don’t wait for the signs,” Dr. Becker stresses. Focus on “prevention first.” Pets age fast, and when it comes to illness they are programmed to mask weakness, “they’re naturally secretive.” One to two visits a year is ideal, but if you suspect a problem, don’t hesitate, and don’t self-diagnose. “In the last two years I’ve seen four or five cases where people went to the internet for help, and by the time they get to the vet it’s too late,” says Dr. Becker.
“The dogs of the whole county shouldn’t have to bear the consequences of the misbehaviour of a few dog owners.”
Animals Asia, an animal welfare NGO, said studies showed dogs needed to be walked at least once a day. “But like many countries, the onus should be on the dog owner to keep their animal under control,” it said.
“We hope local authorities can work with the general public to ensure dogs live in harmony with the local community, and that dog walking would be included as part of any long-term solution to issues relating to dog/human interaction.”
Additional reporting by Lillian Yang
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