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Shanghai Adds Bite to Law on Unlicensed Pet Clinic

Individuals who employ unqualified veterinarians or operate unlicensed pet clinics will face a fine up to 50,000 yuan (US$6,172), according to an animal disease prevention law adopted by Shanghai's top legislative body yesterday.

The law also entails the city government to offer "reasonable compensation" to farmers or farming companies if the government slaughters their livestock or poultry due to an animal disease outbreak.

"The purpose of the law is to protect the public's health," said Zhang Lizhi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress.

He said as more people have pets, the law is necessary to regulate both pet clinics and veterinarians. The law will take effect on March 1, 2006.

According to the regulation, owners of pet clinics must have a license, appropriate disease prevention facility, professional staff and reasonable management.

Veterinarians working at pet clinics must receive professional training, pass a professional test and have a business license.

Pet clinics disobeying the law will be shut down and all earnings will be confiscated.

Operators of unlicensed pet clinics will face a fine from 10,000 yuan (US$1,235) to 50,000 yuan.

According to a previous report, the number of pets in the city has exceeded 2 million.

Only 30 percent are registered with the government.

However, the city has 200-plus pet clinics although only 55 have been endorsed by the government, according to official statistics.

Some pet owners complained unlicensed pet clinics have caused harm to their animals.

In July, a middle-aged woman surnamed Xu complained that her dog received wrong diagnosis by veterinarians at a pet clinic on Kaixuan Road and died after an injection. She said the pet clinic didn't have an appropriate business license.

"Strict management of pet clinics is very necessary to keep those pets healthy," said Xu.

(eastday.com December 30, 2005)


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