Put your dog on a leash, Belait pet owners told

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BELAIT

LICENSED dog owners in Belait are allowed to take their dogs out on walk provided they are on a leash, according to a circular issued last March by the Municipal Board of Kuala Belait and Seria in the interest of public safety.

Chairman of the Municipal Board of Kuala Belait and Seria Hj Ali Matyassin said the circular, which has been making rounds on social media, was issued after the board received multiple complaints from Belait residents about dog menace, causing serious inconvenience to them, including one case of a dog attacking a person.

“The dog licence, which has to be renewed annually for dogs to be kept as pets is not new. It has been in place for several years already as specified under the Dog’s Act,” he said.

All dogs above three months old are required to be licensed, which can be obtained from the Municipal Department in Kuala Belait, he said.

“It is a fast and easy process. Once you get the licence, a special tag will be issued which should be worn by the dog,” he added.

The chairman also clarified the second point made in the circular, that dogs should be kept only within the compounds of the owner's residence.

“The dog will stay with the owner, but the owner is free to bring his/her dog out for a walk or recreation provided they are kept on a leash,” he said.

“We are not trying to single out dogs or their owners with the circular. We are aware that dogs need to venture out, as some breeds have a tendency to get aggressive if they are kept within the confines of the house.”

When asked about how Municipal’s enforcement would monitor or handle dogs without licence, whether a stray or kept by a resident, Hj Ali said action taken would be based on public complaints.

“The Municipal Board's task is not only monitoring dogs, we monitor shops for example and a number of other matters under the area in our jurisdiction.

“So our actions will be taken based on complaints from the public. If there are cases of strays or pet dogs attacking or harassing the public, then action will be taken.”

According to the Dog’s Act, last revised in 2012, owners who fail to register dogs can be fined $250 or jailed for 14 days. Those with registered dogs “found out of doors” without a licensed badge are liable to the same fine under Section 5.

Section 5 (2) also reads: “Any dog found at large without such label or badge for the current year may be destroyed or impounded by the police or by any other department authorised for such purpose.”

The Brunei Times