Families only allowed one dog

Click to follow

A southern Chinese city is introducing a one-dog policy for households.

Beginning on 1 July, each household in Guangzhou can raise only one canine.

The regulation will be retrospective so families with two or more dogs will have to decide which one gets to stay.

"It's a cruel regulation. These dogs are like family. How can you keep one and get rid of the others?" said Mrs Chen, who declined to give her full name because she feared the police would track her down and seize the dogs.

She will have to choose between a Pekingese and a terrier when the regulations bite.

The regulation appears to be part of an effort to control stray dogs in Guangzhou, once known as Canton.

Many other Chinese cities, including Beijing, have long had one-dog policies. Officials commonly launch mass roundups of dogs when the canine population is deemed too big or infected with rabies and other diseases.

In 2006, Beijing authorities caught 29,000 unregistered dogs in one month - a campaign that sparked public anger and protest.

Worries about rabies prompted authorities in Hanzhong city in the northern province of Shaanxi to order all the dogs in rabies-infected areas killed this month, and more than 34,000 were put to death.

Mrs Chen said her plan was to register one of her dogs with her parents. She said the Chinese are masters at finding loopholes and other ways to skirt around laws.

"In China, we have a saying," she said. "When the people at the top make a policy, the people at the bottom find a way to get around it."