Lucknow Municipal Corporation mulls over plan to keep dog population in check

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Lucknow: The Municipal Corporation here is mulling over a proposal to allow a household to keep only two dogs at a time, a move aimed at regulating the population of the animal in the city.

The civic body is also looking into a proposal to increase the licence fee for dogs.

The proposals are being discussed in the wake of dig-bite cases in the city. On July 12, an elderly woman was mauled to death by her pet dog here. In April, a five-year-old boy was killed while his six-year-old sister was badly injured when stray dogs attacked them.

Dr Arvind Rao, Director, Animal Welfare, Lucknow Municipal Corporation, said, "We are in the process of making new guidelines for pets, especially dogs. Proposals for doubling the licence fee along with other aspects of animal management are part of it." Rao said in the proposed new guidelines, a dog owner cannot leave it unattended at public places.

They will have to ensure that their dog doesn't create trouble for people living nearby.

The renewal of the licence will be mandatory every year besides adhering to required vaccine regimen, he said. Currently, the civic body takes Rs 500 to issue a licence for foreign breed. This fee will become Rs 1,000 on the implementation of the new guidelines.

Stressing the need for stricter guidelines, Rao said, "As living spaces in the city are reducing, it becomes necessary that we take measures to ensure that no conflict occurs due to pet animals." "The new guidelines are being made keeping in mind the demand of the present time. The well-being of pets is also being considered in the new guidelines," he added.

As per the new guidelines, a dog owner will have to ensure that the space where the animal lives is clean and comfortable.

Considering that several people keep such dogs that are known for their ferocious nature and even banned in several countries, the civic body is planning to ensure that they are properly trained.

"Some dogs require to be trained properly before being kept as pet in houses. We are trying to include this aspect and make it mandatory for pet owners in the city," said Rao.

"Our plan is also to make pet owners aware of the dangers of keeping dogs of such breeds," he added.

The Municipal Corporation is also focusing on checking the population of stray dogs in the city. Several cases of dogs attacking children were reported recently. Following the attacks, the civic body issued a helpline and focused on animal birth control.

The Municipal Corporation claims to tackle the issue of man-animal conflict in a scientific manner.

As per officials, they used to spay or neuter on an average 60 stray dogs in a day, which has been increased to around 120 dogs per day.

The civic body has also issued a dedicated helpline for residents in case of stray dog-related emergencies. Residents use the helpline to report incidents related to dog bite and stray dog population.

To prevent any cruelty towards dog, Rao said they are in touch with representatives of several animal rights groups and work closely with them to mitigate any possibility of dispute in carrying out population control measures.