It’s the year of the dog in China. That does not mean the dog or pets generally are about to get a better deal in China.
The Chinese are getting wealthier which is unsurprising since they produce half the world’s goods or it seems that way. Dog ownership has risen rapidly (what about cats?).
Dog ownership without responsibilities has lead to social tensions and some nasty conflicts between dog owners and non-dog owners.
The Times reports that with the intention of minimising conflict local authorities are creating laws such as banning walking dogs between 7am and 10pm in the city of Wenshan. Other local jurisdictions have outlawed aggressive dog breeds and made registration obligatory. Keeping dogs on a leash is another favourite.
Many flout the laws leading to arguments and aggression between people not the dogs.
On social media an article about how to kill dogs with a substance that is safe for people has gone viral. It was praised widely.
In Ningho, a man charged into his neighbour’s home and stabbed three people to death because their dogs were barking at night.
In Hangzhou, a women who fended of a dog with her foot because it was barking at her kids, was knocked to the ground and beaten by the dog’s owner.
Six dogs were deliberately poisoned with chicken livers in the province of Liaoning because the man had been bitten.
The attitude of the authorities is made clear in the man’s punishment. He was jailed for three years for handling dangerous substances and not for animal cruelty.
There appear to be a way to go before the Chinese get a grip on responsible pet ownership. I am sure cat ownership has increased too. It’s just that dogs are more often referred to in news reports.
It is difficult to take a country’s attempts at responsible dog and cat ownership when they have such a thriving dog and cat meat marketplace. How many hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are eaten? Millions of dogs and cats are killed for their skins in China.