THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Plans to do registration of owners and licensing of breeders through 15 vet hospitals. But officials claim hospitals lack resources. Animal rights activists want the fee to be reasonable and micro-chipping to resume
Close on the heels of the Kerala High Court directing mandatory registration of pet animals and their ownership, the city corporation is all set to introduce new clauses and fix charges for the pet registration and breeder licences. The plan is to do the registration procedures through 15 veterinary hospitals coming under the Thiruvananthapuram corporation. Kozhikode corporation has already passed the bylaw and fixed the registration fees for pet animals and breeders.
The civic body has been doing registration of pet dogs for the past four years. It has also introduced micro-chipping for stray dogs and pet dogs in the city as part of giving a unique ID to each dog, but it has been stalled for the past one year. As per estimates, there are around 10,000 registered pet dogs in the corporation’s jurisdiction.
Kozhikode corporation is charging Rs 500 for pet registration and Rs 1,000 for registration and the licence for breeders. Currently, the civic body here collects Rs 125 for registration. The owners of dogs, cats, cattle, pigs and every other domestic animal would have to get the registration once the new bylaw comes into effect.
A senior official of the corporation said the draft bylaw has been submitted and would come into effect once the council passes it. “It’s yet to be tabled in the council. We are making licensing and registration mandatory for breeders too. A pet animal census is ongoing and there are around 6,000 heads of cattle and more than 800 pigs in our jurisdiction. We are in the process of getting the data of the total number of pet dogs and cats,” said the official.
Health standing committee chairman P Jameela Sreedharan said more discussions would be held before the bylaw is finalised. “We are planning to hold discussions with the veterinary doctors before finalising the bylaw. We couldn’t meet because of the holidays,” she said. Latha Indira, secretary of People for Animal (PFA), said abandonment of pet animals is rampant in the capital and registration of pet animals would help bring down such cases.
“We come across an average of three cases of abandonment everyday. This mostly happens to pet dogs. The owners throw them on the street when they encounter health issues and can’t take care of them anymore. Registration would make the pet owners more accountable and we would be able to trace them,” said Latha Indira. She said the authorities should fix a reasonable registration fee and shouldn’t impose this as a financial burden on pet owners.
“There are many people who raise stray animals are from poor financial backgrounds. Charging a huge fee would put pressure on them. The authorities should consider giving exemption for people raising Indian breeds,” added Latha.
She said the local bodies are procuring microchips as part of the ABC programme and not using them. “The civic authorities are trying to make ABC programme more expensive and finally ending up not using the microchip cards which is a waste of taxpayers money,” she added.
However, it’s going to be a huge challenge for veterinary hospitals to implement the registration of pet animals. According to official sources, the hospitals don’t have enough resources to manage the pet registration.
“There are a lot of challenges and even if we do the registration process, we will not be able to collect the registration fee. The civic body should introduce online registration and option for online payment. For issuing a licence, the pet animals should be administered with two doses of vaccine and microchipping should also be done,” said an official at a veterinary hospital in the district.