： 茱莉心系公益 与印度外交部长会面
Rabies killed at least 318 people in China in September, 2006.
The Year of the Dog has been an unusual year for man's best friend, with local governments, pet lovers and loathers searching for solutions to the problem of bites.
Rabies killed at least 318 people in China in September and was responsible for more deaths than either tuberculosis or AIDS over the past five months.
It has become the leading infectious disease and is a growing problem, the Ministry of Health announced last month.
The ministry recorded 2,254 cases of rabies nationwide in the first nine months of this year, up 30 per cent over the same period last year.
Although regulations are in place in many areas, "many dog owners neither register their dogs nor have them inoculated, plus there is an increasing numbers of stray dogs, resulting in a dangerous environment," said Yu Hongyuan, vice-director of the Beijing Municipality Public Security Bureau.
"It's high time we launched an extensive campaign to tighten the management of these animals," added Yu.
Beijing had 550,000 registered dogs this year, but the Beijing Association for Small Animal Protection says the city may also be home to up to 450,000 unregistered dogs.
"The reason people don't register their dogs is to avoid paying the 500 yuan (US$62.50) registration fee," Zhang Zhang, the official in charge of the dog chapter for the association, told China Daily.
Another reason people don't register their dogs is because the animals are bigger than the legal limit.
"Big dogs, those with a shoulder height of more than 35 centimetres, are banned in central Beijing," said Zhang. "If you want to own a Labrador or a Husky two popular breeds in China and both usually taller than 35 centimetres you're taking the risk that your pet will be detained."
Even the owner's age seems to be a factor.
"Dogs kept by senior citizens in urban areas make up most of those escaping registration and inoculation," Zhang said. "The younger generation is usually willing to spend money on their dogs, posing much less problems.
"Another thing needed is to develop a whole industry, not only dog hospitals and dog food, but also leashes and toilet devices," he said.
Major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Harbin have all drawn up new measures, to provide a peaceful environment for dog owners and non-owners alike.
One of the latest involves implanting electronic chips in Beijing and Harbin a practice already in use in other countries.
Each family in Beijing is allowed only one dog. Starting this month police will be making house calls to establish records of registered dogs and confiscate unregistered animals.
stray dog: 流浪狗