Pradeep Pattanayak

Get ready to pay a hefty penalty in case your pet dog attacks or bites anyone. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a set of new rules governing pet dogs. 

The new rules named Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (Registration and Proper Control of Dogs) Bye-Laws 2023 were passed in a meeting of the civic body yesterday.

As per the bye-laws, a pet dog owner has to cough up hefty fine if his/her canine friend bites anyone or defecates in public places. 

"An owner of a dog who violates these bye-laws shall be liable to be punished by Registration Authority with a fine, which may extend to Rs 10,000 and if the violation is of a continuing nature, then with an additional fine which may extend to Rs. 200 per day, for a maximum of 7 days for the breach continues," the bye-laws read. 

"Also, if the dog is seized/detained under these bye-laws, the owner shall have to pay maintenance charges @ Rs. 200 per day to claim the dog. However, if the breach continues beyond 7 days or the dog is not claimed within 7 days, the registration shall be liable to be cancelled by the Registration Authority and the seized dog shall be disposed of through open sale. If an owner of dog violates any of the conditions of these byelaws at least three times in a calendar year, the registration of the dog shall be canceled," it added. 

The rule says an animal lover can keep maximum two dogs. But for this, registration with the BMC is mandatory. If someone brings a dog from outside, then he/she has to do the registration within a week. 

If the pet owner wants to take his canine friend out, they have to put a belt around its neck. And they also have to hang the registration number or plate.  

If their pets get old, they can’t leave them by the roadside, the rule says. And, if they take their dogs to any shows, they will have to inform about it at the BMC office well in advance. 

In case, a pet dog bites any outsider or causes damage to an outsider’s properties, the pet owner has to give a certain amount towards fine. 
However, the BMC’s new rule didn’t go down well with the animal lovers. 

“Prior to the imposition of any fine on the pet owners, the BMC should set up at least two pet-friendly parks. The pet owners would take their pets to those parks where they can defecate and urinate. The pet owners are not in a position to accept the decision of the BMC,” said Jeevan Ballav Das, a member, of People for Animal.

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