An op-ed posted in China’s Communist Party news outlet lambasted “elitist” dog ownership, comparing canine defecation to “land mines” and calling dogs a stain on “social peace and harmony.”
The author described the glory days of “Mao’s cultural revolution,” in which upwards of 50 million died in an effort to create the perfect utopian Communist society. “Dog ownership was condemned as elitist” during Mao’s reign, he said, calling the activity a “crude and ludicrous imitation… of a Western lifestyle.”
The Communist party op-ed says that while Western folks describe dogs as “man’s best friend,” they should more accurately be placed into three categories: “watchdogs… hunting dogs – along with those to be eaten.”
There are strict laws regarding pet ownership in China. Until 2003, Beijing citizens were unable to own dogs. Communist officials are now attempting to stop the inflow of dogs into their population centers. In Beijing, breeds such as Collies and Pit Bulls, along with all other dogs that are taller than 14 inches have been banned from China’s capital.
Dogs that are acting out in public can literally be taken from the arms of their owners without explanation, according to the Global Post. Shanghai takes the strict laws even a step further. In Shanghai, owners must first convince their neighbors that their pet is good for the community. If they fail to do so, officials are free to confiscate the canine.
A leaked paper known as Document 9 showcased Chinese officials’ concerns with how they have had to crack down on not just dog ownership, but also other foreign Western ideals such as “individual rights” and the dangers of the “free flow of information on the internet.”