Beijing court reaffirms leash regulations for dogs after pet-related disputes

Updated: May 24, 2024 Print
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A Beijing court has reaffirmed that residents should strictly abide by the laws and regulations that state that dogs should wear their leashes while taking them outside to prevent the pets from injuring others.

The reaffirmation was made by the Beijing No 3 Intermediate People's Court on Thursday when it introduced pet-related disputes over the past few years to public, with a disclosure of 11 influential cases.

From January 2021 to April this year, the court concluded more than 40 lawsuits involving the raising of animals, of which, eight were related to injuries caused by unleashed dogs, according to Xue Qiang, vice-president of the court.

"Simply put, the root of the injuries was that the animal breeders or managers did not perform their duties in accordance with laws and regulations, nor took care of their pets," he said.

In one case, an off-leash golden retriever threw a resident surnamed Zhao to the ground in a residential area, fracturing Zhao's thoracic vertebrae. After a failure in negotiation, Zhao took the dog's owner, surnamed Zhang, to court, demanding a compensation of more than 110,000 yuan ($15,192), including medical fees and transportation expenses.

The court said that the golden retriever is a kind of large dog, which holds a certain danger, so its breeder has the obligation to supervise it when carrying it out to avoid it harming others.

However, in this case, Zhang did not tie a leash to the pet in the compound, causing Zhao's injury, so Zhang should be held liable for the failure of taking care of the dog, the court explained, adding that it eventually ordered Zhang to pay over 67,000 yuan to Zhao based on the evidence.

"Breeders sometimes think their pets are docile, cute and harmless, but adult dogs, such as the golden retriever in the Zhang's case, is a large animal with a strong physique and lively activity, meaning that they are easy to suddenly change direction, accelerate running or pounce on others without leashes," the court said.

"Therefore, pet owners, especially those raising large dogs, must use lead ropes for the dogs when taking them out, so as to effectively control them and prevent them from damaging others' personal or property rights," it added.

In addition to the cases caused by unleashed dogs, Xue said that some disputes involved pet food and pet care centers as the pet economy has seen rapid growth.

He required judges to continue the strict implementation of the Civil Code, the Animal Epidemic Prevention Law and the Law on Penalties for Administration of Public Security to deal with pet-related cases, guiding residents to raise animals in a civilized manner.

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