This year saw a rise in the number of animal attack cases, both in terms of stray dogs and pet animals. In the month of July, an elderly woman was mauled to death by her pet dog, which raised concerns about the domestication and training of pet animals. Following the lead, several other attacks came to light, including a five-year-old who was attacked in the lift by a pet dog while the owner stood without restraining it, and a six-year-old was injured by stray dogs while returning home from school.
After the cases began getting out of hand, several local administrations and associations began imposing their own set of rules in regard to managing domestic animals. Some of these rules included banning dogs inside lifts or public spaces without a leash.
However, with the reported attacks increasing in the city, it paved the way for heated debates between animal lovers and those demanding a solution against the attacks. Striking a chord between both, the Lucknow Municipal Corporation is now mulling over proposals that would regulate the animal population and provide a solution against the attacks.
New Guidelines Under Consideration
Dr Arvind Rao, Director, Animal Welfare, Lucknow Municipal Corporation, stated that the corporation is currently in the process of making new guidelines for pets, especially dogs. These proposals include doubling the license fee, ensuring dogs don't create trouble for the public, adhering to the vaccine regimen, and so on.
As of now, the civic body is taking ₹500 to issue a licence for foreign breeds, and as per the proposed guidelines, there is a possibility of the fee going up to ₹1,000. The renewal process will be made strictly mandatory every year, alongside the mandated vaccine regimen.
In consideration of public safety, Rao said that they're looking into imposing regulations in a manner in which the dog owner cannot leave the pet unattended in public places and could not create trouble for people in the surrounding regions.
Addressing the news on the pitbull attacks in Lucknow, Rao commented that the civic body would ensure that the dogs are properly trained. In particular, the dogs that are known for their ferocious nature and are even banned in several other countries.
"Some dogs require to be trained properly before being kept as a pet in houses. We are trying to include this aspect and make it mandatory for pet owners in the city," said Rao. The plan also attempts to create awareness among pet owners on the dangers of keeping ferocious breeds as domestic pets.
The proposal sets forth stricter guidelines to ensure that the pets have a safer space to live in. As living spaces in the city are reducing, he believes it to be necessary to adopt measures that ensure no conflict occurs due to pets. The dog owner will have to keep in mind the welfare of the animal and ensure that the space around them is kept clean and comfortable for them to live in. They have also considered a proposal which permits not more than two dogs in a house, based on the space.
Stray Dog Issue Would See The Needful Action Along With Public Cooperation
Rao also made it a point to acknowledge the stray dog attacks and said that the cooperation issued measures such as a helpline and animal birth control. This would regulate the stray population and also help them keep track of vaccinating or spaying them.
As per the data presented in an article by the New Indian Express, the corporation has neutered an average of 60 stray dogs in a day, and this will be increased to around 120 dogs per day.
The helpline for residents would come in handy in reporting cases of stray dog-related emergencies and also in the prevention of animal cruelty. Collaborating with the representatives of several animal rights groups, they will be working together to ensure population control measures without any conflict.
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