The News recently stumbled upon some very interesting by-laws of the Mogale City Local Municipality which say, among other things, that every person who owns a dog should have a licence for it.
The By-laws state the following:
“Compulsory licensing of dogs – 1. No person shall keep or permit to be kept on any premises or property, any canine without a valid license.”
The by-laws state further that all canine owners including government, business and private shall apply for a dog licence at the local SPCA and that the owner shall apply for one licence per dog.
Not only do you have to apply for these ridiculous licenses but there are also many conditions attached to the issuing of these licenses, for example: (a) A maximum of four dogs shall be permitted per 1 000 square metres of property space, (b) A property shall have at least 125 square metres of lawn and garden space available per dog, (c) The dogs must have sufficient covered shelter available.
And dog licences are only valid for 12 months from the date of issue after which the owner of the dog will be required to apply for renewal of such licence.
The by-laws also state that licenses will be issued by the SPCA and that they will charge a fee for the issuing of a licence, which such income shall be used to subsidise its operations.
Fifty per cent of the income received from the licensing of dogs shall be kept in trust by the SPCA which shall be used annually at the discretion of the Municipality for the advancement of animal health, sustenance farming with animals, conservation or can be paid over as a grant to the SPCA.
This would have been a great system; however since the Krugersdorp SPCA was incorporated into the Johannesburg SPCA in 2008, it cannot be a valid by-law.
Read the by-laws at http://www.mogalecity.gov.za/content/pdfs/key_docs/bylaws/animals.pdf
Private animal shelters in Krugersdorp, such as Fora and The 9th Day don’t have the authority to issue these licences and are struggling to cope with the influx of strays since the closure of the local SPCA. However, Charmaine Booysens, founder of The 9th Day, said they would be more than willing to help the municipality issue licences and do surveys to ensure that people pay their licences.
“I’m totally in favour of the issuing of licences. If people paid their licences, perhaps the SPCA would still be open,” she said.
She added that it would however be a difficult process because telling someone that they can only keep four of their six dogs would upset them. “We would also need to take the extra dogs in and might not be able to cope with the influx of animals.”
She also said it’s more complicated than people think. “One person might have six dogs who are well taken care of. But then there would be another owner who has one underfed dog chained to a pole. If someone has a number of dogs (or cats) who are already sterilised and vaccinated, all of them may be kept, but persons who own multiple unsterilised, unvaccinated animals are accountable for negligence, and the animals should be confiscated.”
But she remains on the side of issuing licences. “Until we start regulating the ownership of dogs, we will forever have this uncontrollable environment in which the animals live.”
The News contacted Mogale City spokesperson, Nkosana Zali, for comment and is awaiting feedback.
The News would like to hear what you think about the issuing of licences. How much would you be willing to pay for a dog licence and do you think licences would help prevent animal cruelty?
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