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Only 397 domestic dogs registered with MCD, compliance remains minimal | Latest news Delhi

Despite the fact that the Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) Act requires the registration of domestic dogs with a civic body, residents have been reluctant to come forward to register their furry companions.

The data from the Veterinary Department of the Unified MCD shows that only 397 domestic dogs have been registered with the municipal body as of July 14, 2022. Of these, the maximum number of registrations (263) are in South Delhi, while 93 they are registered in North Delhi. and 41 in East Delhi, the data shows. In total, the MCD this year has collected $1,57,000 as pet owner registration fee.

But these numbers are still nowhere near last year’s (2021-22) record figure of 761 pet dogs, and in fact, it’s down 48% from last year. Of the 761 registrations last year, 263 were registered in South Delhi, 255 in North Delhi and 243 in East Delhi.

Under Section 399 of the DMC Act, dog owners are required to register their pets with the MCD, but compliance remains minimal, officials said.

A senior official in the veterinary department said the corporation’s charges $500 as annual companion dog registration fee. “The registration is valid for one year or until the validity of the dog’s anti-rabies vaccination. Southern Civic Corps used to charge $500 for the record while North MCD charged $50,” the official said.

The department is still in the process of streamlining the fee under the unified MCD for several categories, such as butcher licenses, dog registration, and dairy licenses, among others.

The official quoted above said that failing to register your dog can invite a fine and even prosecution under Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code (negligent behavior towards animals). The Section also adds that “any dog ​​that has not been registered or that does not carry said card (registration card), if found in any public place, will be retained in a place designated for that purpose.” However, veterinary department officials said such harsh measures have never been taken.

“We are facing criticism from animal welfare groups over the registration fee. But people spend thousands on their pets and pay an annual fee of $500 shouldn’t be a problem. Once the pet is registered, we issue a brass token that can be put on the dog’s collar,” the official said.

To register your dog on MCD’s online registration portal, all you need is proof of the dog’s vaccinations, a photograph of the pet, and proof of identity of the owner. “The rabies virus has an endemic prevalence in the Indian environment and that is why the World Health Organization has recommended an annual vaccination for dogs. And that is also the reason why the pet registration has to be renewed every year,” said the veterinarian, who asked not to be identified.

“The registration numbers do not come close to the actual number of domestic dogs in the city. Registration costs only $500 and all pet owners should do it,” said a second veterinary official.

The official added: “In the event that your dog bites someone and you possess a corporation registration certificate, you cannot be prosecuted under Section 289 of the IPC. In addition to generating income for the corporation, it helps us monitor the vaccination status of the city’s pet. canine population. Also, in case a dog goes missing, it can be tracked using the dog collar and token. The document also serves as proof of ownership.”

Gauri Maulekhi, a member of the NGO People for Animals, said registering dogs will remain a pointless exercise unless there is some value added to the registry. “Many of these municipal regulations were copied from developed countries without taking into account that the context here is completely different. If a guard or tea seller has a dog, he should not be required to pay taxes or fees on it. Instead, we should encourage more and more people to adopt dogs from the Indian community. Unless MCD can attach services like castration or vaccination along with the registry, it doesn’t make any sense,” Maulekhi said.

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