The Ministry of Agriculture has retreated over a bill on animal welfare and prevention of animal cruelty, which required pet owners pay pet registration fees or face a hefty fine.
agreed to withdraw the proposed law for further review after it triggered a public outcry. Critics were upset about a measure in which owners would have to pay 450 THB to register each of their pets and a fine of 25,000 THB if they fail to do so. The agriculture and cooperatives minister has apologised about the dog and cat registration bill but insisted on pushing for its passage with initial free registration and softened impacts. “As the agriculture ministry proposed the bill, I profusely apologise because the issue was not explained to the public,” Minister Grisada Boonrach said. Sorawit Thaneto, director-general of the Department of Livestock Development, said Grisda decided that the bill should be pulled out for a rework.
The ministry would work with the Council of State, the government’s legal adviser, various agencies and the public to improve the bill and ensure responsible pet owners would be left no worse off, he said. Under the proposal, pet registration would be a legal requirement and pet owners would have to pay a fee of 450 THB in total for a pet’s registration. The fees were broken into a registration fee of 50THB, a pet book of 100 THB, and an identification token of 300 THB. Local administrative bodies were responsible for issuing regulations involving pet registration and penalties for noncompliance of up to 25,000 THB. Those who failed to pay the penalties would face legal action.
The bill drew mixed responses, with supporters saying it would help mitigate the problem of abandoned animals as the owners of a particular animal can be traced. Meanwhile, opponents argued the fees were too high, especially for those keeping several pets. Some were concerned that more pets would be abandoned because people could not afford to register them, while many suggested the government should make sure registration fees and fines go toward supporting animal services and safeguarding public health.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Kreangam said it was possible the bill would be dropped if the public strongly objected, while noting that the review would likely take several months and may not be completed before the election. The revised version would see the fees and fines reduced, he added. – Bangkok Post Outcry Forces Retreat on Pet License Fees The Ministry of Agriculture has retreated over a bill on animal welfare and prevention of animal cruelty, which required pet owners pay pet registration fees or face a hefty fine.