Backlash forces BBMP to review dog ownership rules

Backlash forces BBMP to review dog ownership rules

May 4 notification had restricted the number of pets in flats, individual homes

Public backlash has forced the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to review an order limiting the number of pet dogs reared in apartments and individual houses. 

On May 4, the civic body had issued a notification allowing just one dog in flats and three in independent dwellings to ensure there is no disturbance for neighbouring houses. 

The order asks canine owners to get a licence that includes a microchip-enabled dog collar, the cost of which they should bear. Owners failing to get the licence will have to pay Rs 1,000 in fine, besides giving up their dog to be put in an animal shelter.

The order sent shockwaves among pet owners who grew anxious about parting with their animals, while activists argued that the move would force caregivers to abandon their dogs. 

Various animal activists and pet lovers met the Mayor, R Sampath Raj, on Wednesday and urged him to do away with the restrictions on dog ownership. After the meeting with citizens and activists, the mayor directed BBMP officials to relax the rules. “Since animal lovers were opposing the rule, we are withholding this law until it is further discussed at the next meeting of the BBMP council. I have also directed the BBMP officials concerned to change the rules,” Raj said.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Health and Solid Waste Management, BBMP, said: “Since it affected dog lovers, we have decided to have a re-look at the order. We will take suggestions from the citizen groups before arriving at a decision.”

Social media campaign

Pet parents started a social media campaign with the hashtag #NotWithoutMyDog. Dog lovers started several Facebook pages to take the campaign forward, where people posted messages against the BBMP’s move. The hashtag was also trending on Twitter on Wednesday.

More than 9,000 people have also signed an online petition against the BBMP order. A petition on said: “BBMP, why to punish responsible pet owners instead of backyard breeders?”