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Thursday, December 21, 2006

China Ends Anti-Dog Crackdown

Thanks to thousands of letters from concerned animal lovers around the world, including from within China, an anti dog crackdown in Beijing has been officially stopped. According to the South China Morning Post, China President Hu Jintao "was unhappy about the complaints and international media coverage" of the crackdown and put a stop to it.

The crackdown started in Beijing at the end of October. In response IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare and other groups organized letter-writing campaigns to various authorities in China (police department, mayor's office, and Olympic Organizing Committee) as well as international bodies based outside of China (embassies of China and China's International Olympic Committee). The mass of letters, which came from
around the world, including one letter, which was signed by 60,000 dog and animal
lovers from across China, created the pressure for the police in China to stop the
crackdown. This announcement was confirmed to IFAW by the Beijing Police
Bureau in China.

"IFAW applauds the decision by President Hu Jintao to stop the crackdown. It shows that the president understands the special bond people feel with their companion animals and that crackdowns targeting dogs is counterproductive to achieving societal harmony," says Grace Ge Gabriel, IFAW Asia director, who was invited to visit the police dog pound in China, "IFAW now hopes the Chinese government will take the next step and work on reforming Beijing's dog regulations so that responsible dog ownership will be promoted and Beijing can welcome the 2008 Olympics with a humane regulation that is scientifically based."

The anti dog Beijing crackdown in China involved confiscating dogs that were either unlicensed or dogs over 35 cm tall. IFAW has urged the police to return the
owned dogs to their rightful homes, with penalties to irresponsible owners.

In addition, IFAW has pledged to support authorities in China in introducing
amendments to the Beijing Dog Regulation in China to make it more humane and
realistic for dog owners to comply with.

IFAW's suggested changes to dog regulation in China include:

* Eliminate the size limit of 35 cm: The size limit has no scientific
base. A dog's temperament cannot be judged by its size. The size limit
also makes the regulation difficult to enforce.
* Regulate the behavior of people, not dogs.
* Regulate commercial breeding and markets: Uncontrolled breeding for
trade is the main cause of the dog over population problem.
IFAW also urges China's government to start promulgating national legislation for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

There's been an influx of pet lovers getting pet insurance for their furry friends. dog insurance is particularly popular. Veterinary pet insurance can save a lot of the $15,570 estimated to be spent on dogs over a period of 10 yrs.

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