There is a saying in the West, that there are two things in life which are certain: Death and taxes.
However, regardless of what you think about your own tax regime (and what your hard earned dollars are being spent on), you should spare a thought for poor Chinese pet owners. First there was the “One Dog policy”, now, it looks like there could well be “Dog Tax”, too.
According to official Jian Deming, Beijing may be on the verge of introducing a tax on dog ownership. Forcing pet owners to pay for the privilege of owning a dog in order to cover the costs incurred in fighting increasing levels of rabies; which officials largely blame on dog owners failing to neuter and vaccinate their pets, and the cleaning up sidewalks fouled by dogs whose owners refuse to clean up after them.
One child, one China, one dog
News of a possible tax on dog ownership comes a matter of months after Chinese officials announced that families living in 9 districts of Beijing would only be permitted to own 1 dog per household , and that families found harboring additional dogs, or keeping unregistered dogs, would face legal sanctions with ‘extraneous dogs’ being put to death by animal control authorities.
|“Only one pet dog is allowed per household in the zones, and dangerous and large dogs will be banned. Anyone keeping an unlicensed dog will face prosecution”
Xinhua, State Media agency, China
According to the Chinese media, there are approximately 550,000 dogs currently registered in Beijing, and a similar number of unregistered dogs. Registration costs 1,000 yuan per dog.
Between January and September this years there were 2,254 cases of rabies. Resulting in 318 deaths in September alone. These instances represent a 30% rise on figures for 2005, during which time 69,000 people in Beijing sought precautionary anti-rabies treatment.