where man’s best friend is taxed

Vrinda Sharma

 CHANDIGARH: Aiming to bring down the number of stay animals and unregistered breeders, the city has ordered dog owners to not let their pets breed, not keep more than two dogs at a time and tax people if they choose to buy dogs instead of adopting a stray. The administration has also ordered the dog owners that when they walk their dogs, they must carry a big stick and a plastic bag to pick up after their dog to keep the streets clean.

While People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were elated on the new dog taxes and made a ‘dog’ mascot present a bouquet of flowers and a giant heart to the Chandigarh Corporation’s medical officer of health, G Diwan, on Thrusday, many residents are pet owners up in arms.

Dog breeding has become a huge commercial activity in the rural areas around Chandigarh and Amritsar in the last couple of years as a whole new market of quality pups has come up in these cities. According to the Animal Husbandry Department, Chandigarh, the number of domestic dogs in the state has gone up in the recent years, “This year we have registered over 8,100 dogs, which is a huge leap from previous years,” said the Statistics In charge of the Department. 


Dr. G Chabbra, an animal lover said that, “While we all want the city to be clean and more stray animals to be adopted, this is an infringement on the right of dogs to fulfil their biological needs.”


The administration has also asked residents not to buy and sell pets from each other. In case people have more than two pets, they’ll have to pay Rs 1,000 extra per year as ‘dog tax’’. Justifying the administration’s stand PETA India campaign coordinator Madhuri Deshmukh, said that, “Breeders, pet stores, and people who don’t spay and neuter their animals are to blame for animals ending up homeless in the first place. Every time someone buys a dog or cat from a breeder or pet store, a homeless animal roaming the streets or waiting in a shelter loses a chance at a home—and a chance at a good life. Hence, it is important to encourage people to adopt homeless animals from streets and animal shelters and deter them from buying animals from breeders and pet stores.”
As per the suggestion of PETA the administration has agreed to impose a tax on people who buy dogs from breeders and pet shops and exempt people who adopt dogs from shelter and street dogs from this tax. The money collected from this tax would be used to implement the Animal Birth Control programme. According to G Diwan, the new law will encourage people to adopt animals instead of buying from breeders. It will also encourage everyone to get dogs and cats sterilised.


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