Bill seeks Sh5,000 fine for owners of barking city dogs

Owners of dogs that bark for more than six minutes within an hour will pay a Sh5,000 fine if a Nairobi County Assembly Bill is approved.
The proposed law seeks to eliminate the noisy canines from city estates.

Dogs can bark for extended periods when, for instance, an unknown person or animal comes into their territory, when they are afraid, lonely or bored, hungry, when they play or are sick.

“A person shall not keep any dog which barks, yelps, howls or whines for more than six accumulated minutes in an hour or more than three accumulated minutes in half an hour,” the Nairobi City County Dog Control and Welfare Bill, 2015 says.

“A person who contravenes the provisions of this Act or fails to comply with any order or direction given under this Act shall be punishable with a fine not exceeding Sh5,000.”

The Bill adds that repeat offenders will be fined double the penalty. Owners of dogs that charge at vehicles, people, poultry and animals outside the compounds where they are kept will also face similar fines.

The proposed law also seeks to eliminate stray dogs in the city and gives the county authority to seize and destroy the canines, including those without licences.

The permits are renewed annually at a Sh2,000 cost. “Any dog not released or claimed from a pound within 11 days of having been received in the pound may either be sold, given away painlessly or destroyed under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon or a person authorised by the county,” the Bill adds.

A pound is a special facility where all the dogs that are seized by authorities are taken and detained awaiting pick up by their owners or to be destroyed.

Dogs will be released to owners from the City Hall-owned pound after a Sh2,000 payment and production of the annual licence. The Bill also demands that dogs be on a leash while in public, a breach that will set back the owners Sh5,000.

In March 2013, dogs attacked and killed two people- a four-year- old girl and a man- in separate incidents in the country. Earlier this year, a pack of dogs also killed and ate a security guard in Baba Dogo.