Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj made the announcement after meeting with pet owners and animal activists on Wednesday.

Victory for Bengaluru pet owners BBMPs plans to limit number of pet dogs put on holdPhoto by Abhipalsinghjadon1 via Wiki Commons
news Animal welfare Thursday, June 07, 2018 - 14:21

It has only been three days since the BBMP stirred a controversy by announcing that its new pet licensing byelaws had been approved by the Urban Development Secretariat. But thanks to proactive campaigning and pressure from dog lovers and pet owners in the city, the byelaws have now been put on hold.

The byelaws mandated that apartment dwellers could only have one dog per apartment and those in independent houses could have only three. Further, the BBMP also put out an “approved” list of breeds that could be reared in Bengaluru apartments. Not only did the list appear heavily plagiarised from a similar one published by the Singapore Housing and Development Board, but it did not include popular breeds such as the Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle or the Indian stray (indie).

Also read: BBMP's 'approved' dog breeds list makes no sense, and is eerily similar to Singapore's

What drew even more ire was that the byelaws were retrospective – which meant that people who already have more than one pet or a non-approved breed were required to give them up.

Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj, who met with pet owners and animal activists like Sanjana Madappa, Chinthana Gopinath and Priya Chetty Rajagopal on Wednesday, acknowledged the anger and concerns of pet parents in the city.

“In many apartments, there is more than one dog and people are keeping them as pets. The dogs are like family members. And to suddenly abandon any dog is like giving away their son or daughter, which they don’t want to do,” the Mayor said.

“And most of the second or third pets adopted by them are stray dogs which are not being maintained well by the BBMP… We are withholding this [byelaws] until we further discuss with the council and we’ll talk to our officers as well. Till the time we take a final decision, let the status quo remain,” he added.

The Mayor also acknowledged the ‘Not Without My Dog’ movement on social media which hundreds of concerned dog lovers and pet owners joined in.

On Wednesday evening, in fact, the hashtag trended on Twitter, with people strongly opposing the BBMP’s draconian and ill-thought byelaws. They posted photos of their dogs, expressed that the canines were a part of their family and promised to fight the authorities if they tried to take away their furry companions. There were a few witty memes in the mix too.

Check out some of the tweets below.

 

#notwithoutmydog #bbmp #bengaluru #takebackyourwords

A post shared by Garima Gupta (@garimagupta21) on

 

Here to share my thoughts on BBMP's rules. I still can't believe that they are laying restrictions on pet owners. When there are so many problems in India yet to be solved, from nowhere, BBMP comes with this pathetic, inapt & immoral plan to cause hardship to us and our loved ones. There are so many pet lovers who provide food, affection and safety to many homeless animals. They wander the street and are exposed to danger all the time. It is we who extend our love to them. To be frank, it's the govt which is supposed to be doing all this. And if you had been doing it right, then why are so many animals still wandering the streets, suffering without adequate food, shelter, and exposed to so many diseases, every single day? It's a shame for our government that many private animal aid organisations are doing a better job in taking care of such animals. An other fact, Though there is no official order, Chennai corporation parks never allows our pets to accompany us. How cruel is that? First give our dogs space to run! Then let's think about laying rules. I'm sure every pet owner regards his/her pets as family members. And asking to give up a family member is just insane. Most of us even do our duty when it comes to parenting and training the dog. Even if the government is not taking initiatives to save other animals, I kindly request you to just sit back and watch us, do your job. Do feel free to extend your hands of help, but don't be a hindrance to us and our loved ones. Earth is to be shared equally with all the living souls. I hereby show my support, not only to my dog but also to every single animal on this planet. Withdraw this rule BBMP. #notwithoutmydog

A post shared by P £ {\} ¢ [-] U (@shvan_the_polygarhound) on

A source from the expert committee, which was originally formed to formulate the pet licensing laws, said that they would take the public opinion into account during further consultation on the matter.

While there is no official word or redaction yet from the Urban Development Secretariat, activists who have spoken up against the byelaws are optimistic and believe that the provisions will ultimately not hold.

Also read: No BBMP, you cannot take away my dogs: Your byelaws are vicious, writes a Bengalurean

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