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Beijing to Reinforce Supervision on Dog Ownership
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The Beijing authorities have begun a two-month campaign to reinforce regulations on dog ownership in the capital in the wake of a rising number of rabies cases across China.

The campaign, which kicked off on Saturday, is aimed at registering all dogs in Beijing and ensuring they are inoculated. Inspections will be carried out, information on how to look after dogs will be issued and the public will be asked to voice their opinions.

Dog owners will be offered regular training to popularize relevant regulations and encouraged to report any violations via a hotline.

The campaign target is a tall order. According to the office for dog raising in Beijing, over 550,000 dogs are registered in the city. But statistics from the Beijing Association of Small Animal Protection show that there are over one million dogs in Beijing.

Although 277 inoculation stations have been set up all over the city, five rabies cases were reported out of the 70,000 pet-related injuries incurred by Beijingers in the first half of this year.

Rabies has been on the increase in the last ten years. In September alone there were 393 rabies cases nationwide with 318 deaths, 37 percent up on September of last year, and double the number of cases during the whole of 1996. Rabies has caused the most deaths out of all diseases for five straight months in China.

(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2006)

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