PMC’s plan to regulate pets invites ire of animal lovers

ST Correspondent
Saturday, 31 March 2018

Pune: A proposition put forward by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to create a regulatory policy for owning pets has invited the ire of pet owners and animal lovers.

Animal lovers called a press conference to express their anger at not being taken into confidence before creating such a policy. Pet owner Amit Shah of Jeev Seva Foundation said that the PMC should have taken the opinions of animal lovers across the city. 

Pune: A proposition put forward by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to create a regulatory policy for owning pets has invited the ire of pet owners and animal lovers.

Animal lovers called a press conference to express their anger at not being taken into confidence before creating such a policy. Pet owner Amit Shah of Jeev Seva Foundation said that the PMC should have taken the opinions of animal lovers across the city. 

“People who do not understand the issues of animals come up with such concepts. We know the issue, we can give inputs for a proper policy to be formed. The PMC should not just force a haphazard measure on pet owners, who might have to endanger their pets because of it,” he said.

There were reports that the PMC will regulate the ownership of pets and consider limiting the number of animals that can be kept in a single home. Corporator Shashikant Sutar, who came up with the policy’s draft, said that this policy is just a proposal.

“We have not come up with any regulations. We have just come up with a proposal to draft a policy for owning pets, which was submitted to the Health Department,” he said, adding, “We will involve all parties and take their suggestions once the regulations are to be drafted.”

Sutar also said that the proposal was put forth because of an absence of a policy for pets. “As the city is growing, the number of people adopting pets is also growing. There might be issues related to ownership of pets. Even animals who are forced to live in dingy, small and unhygienic areas suffer and we just want to draft a policy, which will prevent such cases.”

‘Corporation Act not comprehensive’
- When Shiv Sena corporator Prathiviraj Sutar suggested the ‘one pet per one family’ policy, the civic administration told him that a ‘two pet per family’ policy exists as per Municipal Corporation Act.
- While speaking to Sakal Times, Vaishali Jadhav, Assistant Medical Officer of PMC, said, “The corporation issues a licence for pet dogs. As per the Corporation Act, there is no provision of providing licences to cats or any other animals. We receive complaints about cat nuisance, but we cannot act.”
- She also gave data of dog bites, but said that in the absence of a census, they don’t have the exact number of dogs. “There were 9,461 dog bites from April 2017 to February 2018, of which 6,602 cases were of stray dogs bites. We have suggested dog catching vans, staff and effective Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme for stray dog sterilisation in the city in budget for the year 2018-19.”

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