Chinese officials are reconsidering a ban on dog walking in the Yunnan province after the policy faced criticism on social media.
A notice, which was published online and issued in Weixin County on November 13 according to local reports, said that citizens “must keep their dogs in captivity” and that dog walking was prohibited in the city.
It added: “Once discovered, a warning will be given for the first time; the second time, the county and city competent authority will impose a fine of 50 yuan (around £6) up to 200 yuan (around £23) in accordance with Article 46 of the “Zhaotong City Urban Management Regulations”.
“The third time, the public security organisation will be contacted to arrest (the owner) and kill (the dog).”
The rules were drafted by four authorities of Weixin County, including the Public Security Bureau and the market watchdog, and were brought in to protect people after several public dog-biting incidents.
But according to the BBC, officials have said they are “rethinking” the proposals.
Several citizens criticised the proposal, with one writing on the microblogging website Sina Weibo: “To prevent cars from hitting people, should we prohibit driving on the highway and lock our cars in the garage?
“The local government should spend more time on establishing animal protection laws and regulations and strengthening civilised pet laws and regulations.”
Another added: “Please vigorously punish the people who break the law rather than killing small animals who are innocent.”
It’s not the first time restrictions were put on dog walkers in the area.
In 2018, a regulation was issued in Weixin banning people from walking their dogs between the hours of 7am to 10pm.
People’s Daily, a state-run Chinese publication, said at the time: “Some concerns that dogs’ barking in the early morning or at night would disturb other residents. Supporters believe it would make the streets safer and cleaner.”