City Animal By-Law … no this has nothing to do with children …

I remember when this discussion came out about two years ago.  The City of Cape Town had requested/required its residents to register their pets.

In terms of the City’s Animal By-Law of 2010, residents are required to register their pets so that the City can monitor and control Cape Town’s animal population

Easy enough.

When this was discussed, and I think it was at least two years ago, people went bezerk – there was hair pulling and “they won’t make me…” and the sky was so falling on Chicken Little.

People were foaming at the mouth, and there was discussions about how the City of Cape Town was going to take pets away.  Other than religion (in this case the Red Bull Advert which really is a fatal exercise in how to alienate half your market), vaginal vs c-section and breastfeeding vs bottle feeding, nothing quite makes people go as “befok” at the mere suggesting that you might take away their animals.

The short part of it is, unless the city knows how many animals are living in the city, and where the problem areas are, it can’t really do anything to assist people or animals.

Seems a fairly simple principle to rationalise.

According to the by-law I am permitted four dogs and/or four cats on a property of my size – which is a hell of a lot of animal as far as I am concerned.

The neighbour a few houses up has six dogs – that I can see (there may be others and cats I have not seen).

They are little Yorkshire Terriers.  So he would go along and register.  As he has more than permitted, he would need to request permission to keep the extra two or how many ever.  Judging by the size of his property (huge) and the fact that the dogs are not a problem, there is no reason for the city to say no.

If the City says yes, it does not mean that you are always now allowed to keep 12 dogs, it means that they give you permission, but as they start to die, then you are not allowed to replace them – you will need to get your numbers down to the by-law level.

Applications in terms of section 4(1) of the City of Cape Town: Animal Bylaw 2010 to keep a greater number permitted in terms of section 2(2) will in the first six months of promulgation of this By-Law, be granted up to a maximum of six dogs on any premises, subject to the owner not replacing any dog that dies or is disposed of as it would result in a contravention of section 2(2).

Of course there are always exceptions – kennels, pet shops, and so on.

I really have no issue with this by-law, and when I read through it, and listen to the discussions on 567 Cape Talk it all appears quite reasonable.

Presently there is no licence fee in place – but odds are there will probably be one coming.

I do not have an issue with the City deciding on a licence fee, provided I can pay on-line, and there is some sense in where the money goes.  I have no qualm about a licence fee.

But for some reason, people are still sh*tting in their pants about registering their pets.

I do think the key points are.

1.  People often do keep way too many animals, and they are a nuisance – and unfortunately the person keeping the pets often does not realise the effect on his/her neighbours.

2.  If you can afford to keep 6 dogs, then you need to appreciate that the city may need to charge you a fee per year.  And if you can keep 6 dogs, then odds are you can pay a reasonable licence fee.  We often throw our hands in the air about all these animals and them arriving at the shelter, but these animals do start somewhere, and unless the City gets a firm handle on it, and puts controls in place, the situation is not going to get any better.

3.  Register your pets – it is not a conspiracy, the City needs to understand how much animals they are dealing with.  Register on line, it is really quick – you will need your rates bill as they ask for your account number and erf number.

If you are Cape Town based, and own a property, and there is an animal on your property – even if you do not own it, you are responsible to register the animal.

Pop along to the link – it took me about 4 minutes to register.