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Shanghai to Introduce One-dog Policy

May 16, 2011
People who live in Shanghai have recently found out that they will have to abide by the city's new one-dog policy as well as the country's one-child policy. This is bad news for many dog owners.

By last estimate, the number of dogs in Shanghai is 800,000. That's only an estimate because just a couple hundred thousand dogs are registered, largely because of high registration fees. That leaves nearly 600,000 unregistered dogs in the Shanghai area, with a large number of those being strays easily susceptible to rabies and diseases that spread rapidly through the canine population.

It used to be the case that Chinese people couldn't have dogs as pets. That was certainly the case under Mao Tse-Tung. But in recent years, dog-owning has become something of a national pastime, with many people owning multiple dogs and spending large sums of money on pet pampering without applying for licenses for those dogs.

The policy went into effect on May 15, and dog owners have 30 days to sort their dog-ownership situation. People who own more than one dog will have to ensure that they own just one, either by giving spare dogs to friends and family or, presumably, by turning them loose.

The policy also introduced an annual fee of up to 500 yuan ($77) to keep that pet dog.

Shanghai joins other large Chinese cities, like Beijing, that have strict laws governing dog ownership.
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