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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
China uses chips in dog crackdown
A dog in Beijing is implanted with a chip
Many dogs in Beijing are thought to be unregistered
The Chinese authorities in an area of Beijing have begun implanting digital chips into dogs in a bid to cut down on the number of unregistered dogs.

Chips the size of a rice grain are being injected into the necks of dogs in a pilot project in the Xicheng district, Xinhua news agency reports.

The chip contains details of the dog's breed, birth, inoculations and owner.

China implemented a "one-dog" policy back in November as part of a campaign to tackle a surge in rabies cases.

But the new regulations - which also includes a ban on larger breeds - have been criticised by some, who fear it will lead to an increase in dog confiscations and culls.

High fees

A police officer in charge of dog registration told Xinhua that the project was being piloted in Xicheng before being rolled out to the rest of the city.

He said the chip, with its 30-year lifespan, would help identify lost and homeless dogs, make it easier for owners to take their dogs abroad and help curb the spread of rabies.

Dogs are required to have a chip implanted when they are registered.

More than 10,000 dogs are registered in Xicheng alone, out of 600,000 across Beijing - although there are believed to be an equal number of unregistered dogs, Xinhua says.

Rising wages have led to a boom in dog ownership, but high fees have prevented many from being registered and vaccinated.

Rabies has become the biggest cause of death among infectious diseases in China. As many as 2,000 people are reported to have died from the disease in 2006 alone.

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25 Nov 02 |  Scotland
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