years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Guangzhou city in Southern China, has recently introduced new regulations for dog ownership. While owners welcome the significant reduction in license and registration fees, and appreciate the need for proper registration of all dogs, the introduction of a one dog policy has struck fear into the hearts of owners and animal welfare groups. Jill explains the background and current situation below.
It is heartbreaking to hear some of the stories coming out of China at the present time particularly the horrific culls in Hanzhong and now the archaic rules in Guangzhou which subject dog owners to having just one dog in each household. Up to date information regarding the latest cull can be found here and our office in Guangzhou is also speaking with the authorities there in an effort to have them reverse their decision on the one dog rule.
In fact, Animals Asia has been involved in discussions with the Guangzhou authorities for several years now - initially showing them the grim pictures and reality of the dogs and cats suffering and dying in the live animal markets and pleading with them to close them down. In addition, Irene and our team there held several meetings with officials during 2007 and 2008, when the "one dog" regulations were first proposed.
Specifically we have asked them to consider a "grandfather" approach where people are allowed to keep the dogs they have and, once they have died naturally, then the owners promise to keep only one dog in the household from that time on.
The authorities have stated that they cannot change the (newly enacted) regulations at this stage, as it has taken over a year to push them through but that they would not be so heavy handed as the rules suggest. Of course this remains to be seen. In addition we also hear that "local" dogs are now under the category of dangerous dogs and must be moved from the downtown area of Guangzhou before the end of the year, or submitted to the local police (which of course means that they will be killed).
As there is apparently now little we can do to change the regulations, we are advising people with more than one dog to ask friends, neighbours or relatives to register their extra dogs, or even to move away from the area of such strict management. In addition we have advised that it is important to maintain good relations with their neighbours as most home visits are made by the authorities following a complaint of dogs barking etc.
Irene and our team there are working very hard in programmes which endeavour to show the special bond between people and companion animals - and where science also takes a front seat, showing the health benefits arising from this unique association. We have recently launched Professor Paws in Guangzhou, and, of course our Dr Dog programme there and in other cities of China continues to grow and engage doctors, hospital administrators, the media and community in the overall message which emphasises that dogs (and cats) are our friends...not food, and not commodities to be disposed of.