Bengaluru

Only one dog per flat, but three if you live in a house

BBMP drafts pet dog licencing rules, provides some relaxation for rescued strays

After a failed attempt to lay down rules for pet owners, the BBMP has again come up with a draft of pet dog licensing bylaws. The draft, which has been placed before the BBMP council for approval, makes it mandatory for owners to fix a microchip and sterilise their dogs.

In 2018, the civic body tried to bring in pet dog licensing bylaws but faced opposition from animal welfare activists as the rules restricted the number of dogs and breeds that citizens could keep. They were eventually withdrawn.

This time, too, the bylaws limit the number of dogs that can be reared in a flat and individual houses. While only one dog can be reared in a flat, three can be kept in an individual house. Rules have been relaxed for those who rear abandoned, rescued and local breeds, provided that owners get necessary certification from the authorities.

Animal activists have asked for clarity on the relaxation of rules and questioned why there should be a separate set of rules for pedigreed and rescued animals.

The civic body hopes that the bylaws, if approved, will help them gather data on the number of pets in the city.

“Once the bylaws are approved by the BBMP council, pet licensing will become mandatory,” said D. Randeep, Special Commissioner (Animal Husbandry), BBMP.

Fine for abusing pets

Having learned its lessons from the past, the BBMP has consulted animal welfare organisations while framing a draft of pet dog licensing bylaws, which if approved, will make it mandatory for all owners to apply for a licence and renew it every year.

According to the draft bylaws, a copy of which is with The Hindu, pet owners have to microchip their dogs at their own cost and sterilise them. They can be fined if found guilty of abusing their pets.

BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar said the bylaws have been proposed to manage the pet dog population. Though there were rules on licensing earlier, he admitted that they were not implemented. “With the bylaws, there will be a specific framework, under which we hope to implement it. Those who don’t comply will have to pay a penalty,” he said.

One rule that has been criticised by several animal welfare organisations is allowing for owners to apply for pet licences online. This, animal welfare activists argue, leaves scope for misuse.

The civic body has proposed to utilise the revenue generated from licence fees and fines for the animal birth control and anti-rabies vaccination programmes for stray dogs.

Priya Chetty-Rajagopal from CJ Memorial Trust, a not-for-profit trust that specialises in creating awareness and advocacy for animals, particularly dogs, believes that pet owners are likely to oppose this draft, too.

“The BBMP may have attempted to prepare pet licensing bylaws, which are data oriented, strongly meshed with Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at the back end, and driven by welfare and community perspectives. But this draft will cause more harm than good and disturb pet parents. The focus should be on keeping both human and dog communities safe and in peaceful coexistence,” she said.

This can be achieved if the civic body focuses on the pressing issues around Animal Birth Control (ABC) and Anti-Rabies Vaccinations (ARV), rather than domestic pets, she said. “I have written to the BBMP Commissioner specifically requesting that the pet licensing bylaws be put on hold until issues of problems with the ABC programmes are resolved,” she added.

D. Randeep, Special Commissioner (Animal Husbandry), BBMP, said, “The draft bylaws have been brought in to protect the interests of not just the citizens, but most importantly the dogs. They will help ensure that the pets are well taken care of and are sterilised.”

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 6:28:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/only-one-dog-per-flat-but-three-if-you-live-in-a-house/article30925370.ece

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