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By Teng Jing Xuan / Dec 07, 2018 01:59 PM / Society & Culture

Photo: Teng Jing Xuan

Photo: Teng Jing Xuan

State broadcaster CCTV has unveiled a new Weibo emoticon called "civilized dog-walking,” which shows a dog being walked on a leash. So far, so cute.

But CCTV said its purpose is to promote "civilized pet-keeping" and "consideration for others.”

Chinese cities have been cracking down on “irresponsible” pet-keeping. Hangzhou and Chengdu rolled out lists of banned dog breeds and curfews for dog-walking in November, prompting outrage on social media.

But Weibo users weren't particularly impressed with CCTV’s digital contribution to good pet-keeping. The emoticon provoked discussion on the site that grew into a bigger debate about the issue.

"Fining uncivilized dog-walking behavior and using that money to care for stray dogs would be better than a curfew," user Aruanlorna wrote Friday. "My dog is getting a skin disease from not getting any sun."

"When will animal protection laws be put on the agenda??" Xinfuruciyueer asked.

"Is there an emoticon for not spitting on the ground?" starstar329 wrote.

Related: Who’s a Good Boy? Not These 22 Dog Breeds, Chinese Cities Say

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