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Dog license hearing for pet owners
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Residents in downtown Luwan District of Shanghai City will now need to attend a hearing with their neighbors if they want to keep a pet dog.

The pilot program has been launched in the district in a bid to avoid neighborhood disputes caused by dogs, the district's public security bureau director said yesterday.

Households that fail to get the nod from all five neighbors will not be granted a dog license, and unlicensed pets will be confiscated.

The trial is taking place at Ruijin No. 2 Road police station.

Once a resident applies for a dog license, the neighborhood committee will arrange a hearing between the applicant and their five nearest neighbors who will then vote on the issue after the applicant gives a statement.

"It is a good way to reduce future conflicts caused by pet dogs," said Chen Mingjun, director of the Luwan District branch of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

A recent survey by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau claimed pets urinating and defecating in public were major causes of annoyance for local families.

Currently, a dog owner can receive a license after gathering five signatures from neighbors. Now Luwan District is giving the neighbors an opportunity to sit together, discuss and vote to approve or reject a license application.

In February, the district released rules requiring those who were granted dog licenses to have their pets vaccinated, clean up after them, use a leash, avoid walking them during rush hours and control their barking at night.

(Shanghai Daily June 9, 2009)

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