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Proper regulation crucial for the growth of the chinese pet industry

The pet industry in China has grown rapidly in recent years, with more than 100 million pets now living in the country. According to a report issued last year, 60% of these pets are dogs and the rest are mostly cats. However, it is believed that these figures are actually lower as some dog owners do not register their pets as required by law and it is not mandatory to register cats as pets.

The Chinese people started keeping dogs and cats as pets on a large scale more than two decades ago when they had more money to spare. Different breeds of dogs and cats were introduced to China, with some costing as much as 500,000 yuan ($74,930) each. Foreign-invested factories have been set up to produce special food and toys for pets. The pet clinics and saloons that have mushroomed enjoy booming business even though their medical bills could be much higher than hospitals providing medical services to humans.

The rising number of pets have created a prosperous industry, the industry grew on average 20% a year between 2010 and 2020, faster than most other sectors. According to industry insiders, the scale of the pet industry will be worth 445 billion yuan by the end of next year, with some observers saying the sector still has much room for growth. This is because only about 17% of Chinese families have pets, while the ratio is 67% in the United States and 62% in Australia.

Despite the growing popularity of pet ownership, there are several challenges that need to be addressed in order to ensure the healthy development of the pet industry. Dog droppings on pavements are already a big problem in many localities. While dog owners are required to clean the droppings of their pets, many ignore it. Additionally, dogs larger than a certain size are not allowed to be kept as pets in urban areas, but people can still be seen walking large, unregistered dogs on the streets.

Dog attacks are frequently reported and dog barking has become a prime reason for disputes among neighbors. And many people abandon their pets for various reasons, with no authentic data on how many pets have been deserted by their owners.

In order to address these issues, better control of the pet industry is needed. Regulations related to pets should be reviewed with the aim of better protecting the rights and interests of non-pet owners. Stricter rules should be implemented to ensure that not only all dogs but also cats are registered, and prevent people from abandoning their pets at will. Additionally, registration fees should be raised to increase the government revenue, so more people can be recruited to enforce the pet-related regulations.