A Chinese lawmaker has proposed imposing a tax on urban dog owners to curb numbers of the animals and fight rabies, state media reported Monday.

The tax would be one way to balance the interests of dog owners and those who do not raise pets, Jiang Deming, a lawmaker from southeastern Jiangsu province, was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency.

Jiang, a deputy director of an agricultural technology promotion center, said the tax revenue could be used in rabies prevention measures and urban sanitation.

Chinese officials have been worried about a rise in rabies cases, and have proposed measures from limiting households to just one dog, in the case of Beijing, to killing all pet dogs, as proposed by a district in the southwestern city of Chongqing.

Jiang said the tax would also discourage lower-income people from owning dogs.

Xinhua said rabies killed more than 2,000 people in China last year.