We need ‘Shenzhen speed’ to care for cats and dogs

 On 9 October 2022, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued a circular to launch a pilot project on building complete communities in various regions, with a view to further improving the functions of urban community services.

       On 17 November, the World Dog Alliance (WDA) wrote to the relevant authorities in Shenzhen, suggesting that “creating space for companion animals” be considered in the planning of “improving community service facilities”.

       Just over ten days later, a reply was received from the competent authorities, the Shenzhen Housing and Urban Management Bureau. Because of the lack of companion animal laws and regulations, dogs can only be managed and regulated at present. The Urban Authority also said that when the lead department is consulted, it will suggest that the space for pet dogs be taken into account.

       This is not the first time the WDA has felt the ‘Shenzhen speed’.

       Two months ago, the Shenzhen Urban Authority issued a notice on the public call for comments on the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Parks Ordinance (Draft for Comments).

       The reply informed that in order to co-ordinate the construction of pet parks, the Shenzhen Municipal Administration had proposed in the preparation of the “Shenzhen Specialized Plan for the Construction and Development of Parks (2021-2035)” that “the construction of pet-themed parks and small pet parks using space such as urban green areas and street-side green areas would meet the needs of the general public”.

       The WDA has also written to government agencies in other countries and other cities in China many times, but only Shenzhen has responded so quickly. This is the world-renowned ‘Shenzhen Speed’, a concrete manifestation of the city’s open, transparent and efficient administration. Fast and fluid communication makes the city vibrant and dynamic.

       In 2019, Shenzhen’s first pet-themed park will be opened.

       In March 2020, Shenzhen legislates to ban dogs and cats, the first in China and the world is amazed!

       In April 2022, the country’s first pet pod will be built in Shenzhen to host pets for free and at no cost to the newly-isolated.

       Shenzhen has been actively exploring and practising caring for our companion animals. With the spirit of “Dare to be the first” and the speed of “Every second counts”, Shenzhen is setting the pace for other cities in China.

       Genlin, founder of the WDA, has praised Shenzhen on many occasions, saying, “In its case, Shenzhen has preserved the seeds of civilisation and hope for the whole country. In an epidemic-weary period of limited resources, limited energy and limited order, it is a remarkable act of civility to have such achievements! To be on par with the rest of the world, we must first look at the way we treat our dogs and cats, which not only demonstrates the tolerance and generosity of Shenzhen, but also the high quality of its people. I am very proud of Shenzhen because it is a beacon of light for our country!

       In 2015, Genlin put forward the concept of ‘Human, animal and environment, one and the same, a sustainable planet’, which means that human beings and nature are in harmony, and human beings and animals are in a friendly relationship, building a beautiful home for harmonious co-existence.

       It is in line with the aim of building an ecological civilisation, and is also the direction of human civilisation. Shenzhen is undoubtedly the most perfect practitioner and leader, and is a model and benchmark for the construction of ecological civilisation in China!