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The Dangers of Heavy Petting

Animal Rights Activists Call on the Government to Establish Rules and Regulations for Dog Owners.

(1/31/2009) BisnisBali reports that the recent outbreak of rabies in Bali has prompted a local animal welfare organization Yudisthira Swarga to urge the government to put rules and regulations into place governing pet ownership.

The Farm Animal Program Manager for Yudisthira Swarga, I Wayan Mudiartha, said, "with such regulations in place, the government will be able to ensure that the public adequately care for their dogs."

Mudiartha believes that rules governing canine ownership are needed due to the growing popularity of dog ownership in Bali and the relatively low level of knowledge on how to care and nurture such pets.

He told the press that such rules would limit the number of dogs that a single owner could possess linked to each owner's ability to adequately care for their pets. Such controls would also automatically require all dog owners to register their animals on a yearly basis and for dogs to wear an official license around their necks.

He also said that such a law should mandate that animals not kept for breeding purposes must be sterilized in order to prevent the accidental establishment of large feral populations of dogs marauding the island.

Similar to other locations where dog ownership is regulated, dogs found by authorities to be unlicensed would be confiscated sent to a pound where, if they were not claimed within a specific period, would be euthanized.

Mudiartha also told the press that an essential part of any pet ownership law would be sanctions, including fines and possible imprisonment, for people who violate the rules.

The animal activist said that the current rabies outbreak formed the right time for the promulgation of much needed pet ownership regulations for Bali.