Only 397 pet dogs registered with MCD, compliance remains minimal

Updated on Aug 02, 2022 01:59 AM IST

Even though Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) Act mandates registration of pet dogs with civic body, residents have remained reluctant to come forward to get their furry mates registered.

Only 397 pet dogs registered with MCD, compliance remains minima(AFP)
Only 397 pet dogs registered with MCD, compliance remains minima(AFP)
By, New Delhi

Even though Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) Act mandates registration of pet dogs with civic body, residents have remained reluctant to come forward to get their furry mates registered.

Data from the veterinary department of the unified MCD shows that only 397 pet dogs have been registered with the municipal body till July 14, 2022. Of them, the maximum registrations -- 263 -- are in south Delhi while 93 are registered in north Delhi and 41 in east Delhi, the data shows. In all, the MCD this year has collected 1,57,000 as registration fee from pet owners.

But these numbers are still nowhere near last year’s (2021-22) registration figure of 761 pet dogs and is, in fact, 48% down from last year. Of the 761 registrations last year, 263 were registered with south Delhi, 255 with north Delhi and 243 with east Delhi.

As per Section 399 of DMC Act it is mandatory for pet dog owners to register their pets with MCD but compliance has remained minimal, officials said.

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A senior veterinary department official said the corporation charges 500 as the annual registration fee of pet dogs. “The registration is valid for a year or till the validity of rabies vaccination of the dog. South civic body used to charge 500 for the registration while North MCD charged 50,” the official said.

The department is still in the process of rationalising the fee under the unified MCD for various categories such as meat shop licences, dog registration, and dairy licences, among others.

The official quoted above said not registering your dog can invite a fine and even prosecution under the Indian Penal Code Section 289 (negligent behaviour with respect to animals). The Section also adds that “that any dog which has not been registered or which is not wearing such token (registration token) shall, if found in any public place, be detained at a place set apart for the purpose”. However, veterinary department officials said such harsh steps have never been undertaken.

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

To get your dog registered on the MCD online registration portal all one requires is the dog’s vaccination proof, a picture of the pet and identity proof of the owner. “Rabies virus is endemically prevalent in the Indian environment and that’s why 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,” the veterinary doctor said, asking not to be named.

“Registration numbers are nowhere close to real number of pet dogs in the city. The registration costs only 500 and every pet owner must get it done,” said a second veterinary official.

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The official added, “In case your dog bites someone and you possess a registration certificate from the corporation, you can’t be prosecuted under IPC Section 289. Apart from revenue generation for the corporation, it helps us monitor the vaccination status of city’s pet canine population. Furthermore, in the event that a dog gets lost, it can be tracked using the dog collar and the token. The document also serves as a proof of ownership.”

Gauri Maulekhi, a trustee of NGO People for Animals, said registering dogs will remain a pointless exercise unless there is some value addition attached to the registration. “Many of these municipal regulations were copied from developed countries without keeping in mind that the context here is entirely different. If a guard or a tea seller is keeping a dog, he/she should not be made to pay a tax or fee for this. Instead, we should encourage more and more people to adopt Indian community dogs. Unless MCD can attach services such as neutering or vaccination along with the registration, it does not make any sense,” Maulekhi said.

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