Onus on owners to keep dog clean, safe

Billy delivers his talk on dog licensing.

KUCHING: Despite having their dogs registered and licensed under the Local Authority (Dog Licensing and Control) By-Laws, 2018, pet owners have been reminded to be totally responsible in their roles as members of the public. 

State chief environmental health officer of the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH), Billy Sujang said that the duties of a dog owner, under these by-laws, shall maintain the kennel in which the dog is housed in a clean and sanitary condition.

“All owners must take reasonable steps to ensure that their dogs are not a nuisance or pose a danger to the public.

“Apart from other roles, one must immediately and properly dispose of the dog’s solid waste, deposited on any property, public or private, not owned or possessed by the owner,” he said when delivering his talk on dog licensing during the World Rabies Day 2021 Sarawak hybrid virtual event held at the Tegas Digital Innovation Hub yesterday (Oct 2).

He pointed out that on the section of dogs not to be let out in public places of the by-laws, item 8 (1) stated that no owner or person having the custody control or care or any dog shall allow such dog, whether licensed or not, to roam at large in any public places unless it is on leash.

“In the penalty and compound section, under item 12 (1), any person who contravenes by-laws 5,6,7,8, 9, or 10 shall be guilty of an offence and shall, upon conviction, be punished with, a fine or not exceeding RM2,000.

“Under item 12 (2), any officer authorised by the local authority by notification in the gazette, may compound any offence committed under these by-laws for a sum of not exceeding one half of the maximum amount of the fine provided for the offence,” he said.

He also reminded that under the same by-laws, under item 3 (1) of the licences and anti-rabies vaccination section, every dog owner shall apply for a licence under these by-laws and no person shall own, keep, harbour or maintain a dog except under and in accordance with a licence issued by the local authority.

“Item 3 (3), any person who contravenes this provision shall be guilty of an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable of a fine not exceeding RM5,000,” he said.

Those who have yet to register and get their dogs licensed can do so by visiting the nearest local authorities, or register at the http://doglicense.sarawak.gov.my.

Following that, dog owners can also request for a microchip which will contain details of the dog and its owner, and then will be implanted in the dog.