Chinese city introduces tight controls on dog walking

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A city in south-western China has banned dog walking during the daytime and banished the pets entirely from parks, shopping centres, sports facilities and other public spaces.

The order issued by the city of Wenshan in Yunnan province has been called the most restrictive yet in a nation where dog ownership has long been subject to tight regulations.

Under communist China’s founder Mao Zedong, pet ownership was considered a bourgeois affectation. It has revived over recent decades with Chinese people being more affluent, and having smaller families.

Dog ownership is becoming more popular in China (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Wenshan’s ban appears to go well beyond these restrictions by saying dogs can only be outside before 7am and after 10pm.

Officials also said dog leashes cannot be longer than 3ft and the pets can only be walked by adults.

Despite the new-found popularity of keeping dogs, many Chinese people remain wary over the presence of wild or unleashed dogs.

Rabies spread by unvaccinated dogs also accounts for a substantial number of the roughly 2,000 deaths from the disease that the World Health Organisation counts in China each year.

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