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Pet registration bill rethink after public outcry

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Pet registration bill rethink after public outcry | The Thaiger

by Kornwaree Panyasuppakun

A Bill approved by the Cabinet, making it mandatory to register dogs and cats, has ben derailed after pet lovers cried foul over the high fee for the registration documents, threatening to abandon their pets.

The bill, approved by Cabinet on Wednesday, allows municipalities to charge a maximum fee of 450 – 500 baht for registration, 100 baht for a book of identity and 300 baht for identification tools such as microchips.

It sets the maximum fine for violation at 25,000 baht. However, the bill does not specify where the money will go or how it would be spent to improve animal welfare.

“We don’t object if the government charges registration fees, but the amount must be appropriate and the agency must explain how the income is spent,” wrote the Watchdog Thailand page.

“Personally, I think it [the registration bill] doesn’t tackle the problems, but makes them worse. Who will want to adopt stray cats and dog?” wrote the admin of Moh Maew Yak Bok Tard Maew Facebook Page (What a cat doctor wants to tell cat lovers).

“The pricey fees will discourage owners from adopting pets and may even encourage some to abandon their dogs and cats on the street or in the care of temples to avoid paying the fees,” according to comments in social media in response to the bill.

“If the bill was passed into the law, more dogs would be abandoned, uncared for, starve and spaying or neutering is harder. The dogs will also be at greater risk of rabies,” said Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, a rabies expert and professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine.

“Instead of charging high fees from people who help take care of unwanted dogs and cats out of kindness, the government should ask for their cooperation to get the animals spayed and neutered as well as vaccinated for rabies,” he said.

Pet registration bill rethink after public outcry | News by The Thaiger

Following the public outcry, the Cabinet says it will reconsider the bill. At its core, the bill intends to regulate family pets and reduce the number of strays, but the Cabinet promised not to make registration a burden for people.

“The PM Prayut Chan-o-cha was worried that if the registration move led to people abandoning their pets, the municipality, the City Hall, or the Agriculture Ministry would not be able to take care of these unwanted pets,” Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday.

The Livestock Development Department agreed to take the bill back for reviewing, as it might create too much burden for the people, director-general Sorawit Thaneto said yesterday.

The bill, in fact, aims to prevent pet owners from abandoning their pets and to provide welfare for the unwanted ones. With such a law, families would be required by law to provided good care for their pets, and thus reduce the number of stray dogs and cats, he explained.

Pet registration bill rethink after public outcry | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation


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Thai Life

Alcohol sales banned October 24

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Alcohol sales banned October 24 | The Thaiger

Alcohol sales will be strictly prohibited tomorrow, Wednesday, October 24. The day marks the end of the Buddhist Lent.

Police say offenders will face a 10,000 baht fine and/or a six-month jail term.

“The ban on alcoholic sale applies to both shops and restaurants, retailing and wholesaling,” the Royal Thai Police deputy spokesman Pol Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen said on Tuesday.

He said police would strictly enforce the ban, which is imposed in line with an announcement of the Office of the PM and the Alcohol Control Act. According to the announcement, no alcoholic sale shall be allowed on religious days.

Alcohol consumption is considered a sin in Buddhist belief.

Awk Phansa marks the end of the three-month Buddhist Lent period and the traditional end of the rainy season. The final day of the Buddhist Lent period falls on the full-moon day of the eleventh lunar moon and is known in most parts of Thailand as Awk Phansa. According to Buddhist belief, the day commemorates when Buddha descended back to earth after spending three months in heaven where he had visited his mother.

According to Krissana, police plan to check on restaurants, karaoke parlours, and convenience stores based at petrol stations to ensure compliance with the rules.

Krissana also asked for tip-offs from the public.

“If you find anyone or any place violating the ban, please alert police by calling 191 or 1559. Our hotlines operate round the clock,” he said.

STORY: The Nation

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Koh Samui

Ode to the Honda Click

The Thaiger

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Ode to the Honda Click | The Thaiger

No helmets, but a lot of effort, some cameos by local dogs and a drone, brings together a heart-felt ode to the ubiquitous Hand Click, the favourite scooter rental for Thai tourists for a decade. This unlikely, hastily organised boyband duo deserves 10 out of 10 for effort but a lower score for their singing and fashion sense. Filmed on Koh Phangan. Enjoy!

(The Thaiger reminds everyone riding motorbikes in Thailand to always wear a helmet – because it’s the law and it could save your life.)

Jimbotronic – Honda Click

Ich fühl mich so geil auf meiner Honda…

Posted by Jimbotronic on Sunday, October 14, 2018

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Bangkok

Soi Dog Foundation responds to rabies and dog registration stories

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Soi Dog Foundation responds to rabies and dog registration stories | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bangkok Thailand Soi Dog

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation has sent The Thaiger a response to an article published on October 16. The story was sourced from our Bangkok partners ‘The Nation’ and, according to Soi Dog, contains some glaring inaccuracies. You can read the original article HERE.

We reprint the response from the Soi Dog Foundation below…

“The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) carries out a survey, twice a year, in an attempt to count the number of dogs and cats in the country, both owned and stray. In 2016, it counted 7.3 million dogs and 3 million cats in Thailand, excluding Bangkok. This year the number of dogs was recorded by the DLD as 7,770,969, excluding Bangkok.

We at the Soi Dog Foundation carried out a census of free roaming dogs in Greater Bangkok two years ago and came up with a figure of 640,000, so a realistic number for dogs nationwide is somewhere around 8.4 million, not – as your story states – 820,000.

Another figure given in your story is that 40 per cent of stray dogs in Thailand could carry the rabies virus. If this were true, there would be hundreds of human deaths a year, if not thousands, and the carcasses of dead dogs would be scattered all over the place.

A story published by The Nation on September 28 (“Expert says rabies still not under control and official statistics may be misleading”) gave a DLD figure of 15.3 per cent for the first nine months of this year.

But even that is highly suspect. It was based on a very small sample – just 8,472 dogs. And those were 8,472 dogs that had been caught by the DLD, and their brains examined post mortem for the virus because they were believed to be rabid.

Plainly, to base a percentage infection rate on a sample made up entirely of dogs that are already suspected to have rabies is utterly misleading. It would be like saying, “We checked a bunch of people thought to have diabetes and found that 15 per cent of them did indeed have diabetes.”

The real figure must be much lower. We believe it is between 1 and 4 per cent.

At the root of all the problems being discussed is, in fact, Thailand’s ineffective garbage disposal problem system, which allows a high number of dogs to survive and even get fat by scavenging from trash bins.

Trying to remove 8 million-plus dogs to “shelters” is futile, and carrying out culls (which would probably be illegal under the Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animals Act of 2014) would be equally ineffective. Here’s why:

  • The cost of building shelters to hold 8.4 million dogs would be astronomical and the annual budgets for running them would equally expensive. It would be a huge drain on the national treasury.

  • Dumping dogs in government pounds would probably lead to large scale suffering and death, as was seen earlier this year when, as a result of the rabies panic, 3,000 dogs were crammed into the government animal quarantine facility in Nakhon Phanom. In just weeks, around 2,300 died from disease, starvation and wounds from fighting.

  • Dogs that were not caught in this proposed nationwide roundup, or which avoided being killed in a nationwide cull, would swiftly move into the territories of the dogs that had been removed, breeding rapidly and replacing them.

  • A female dog can have up to three litters of pups a year, each litter averaging seven pups. This means that one female and her offspring – and their offspring and so on – can become 67,000 dogs in six years. This is why an extended campaign of “catch, neuter, vaccinate and release” is so effective.

  • Even if all the dogs could be removed, the garbage problem remains, Other species would take over, notably cats, who breed even more rapidly than dogs, and monkeys. If they, too, were impounded – and cats and monkeys are far harder to catch than dogs – then the country would see an explosion in rat and mice populations. Outbreaks of bubonic plague transmitted by rats and their fleas would be far more frightening than rabies.

As we have seen in Phuket, large scale sterilisation, coupled with vaccination, works, not only in reducing numbers but also in eliminating rabies. It does require large scale investment, though far less than sheltering would, and spread over several years.

As to the issue of compulsory licensing of pets, whether there is a fee or not, we believe this is not a viable solution. It has been tried by other countries and then abandoned because the majority of dog owners – numbering in millions – simply decided not to comply.

Does Thailand have the resources to find, arrest and bring to court millions of dog owners, in order to extract small fines from them, always assuming that the authorities can prove in the first place that the dogs actually have “owners”?

We doubt very much that the government will find this is an effective measure for controlling Thailand’s population of strays, reducing abandonments or reducing the spread of disease. Indeed, it is likely to have the opposite effect.

SDF Founder John Dalley, Soi Dog Foundation, Phuket

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