Oyo State House of Assembly has on Thursday declared that dog owners whose dogs attack or bite any member of the public in the state risks a minimum of six months imprisonment or five hundred thousand naira (N500,000.00) or both.
Newsmen reports that this declaration is sequel to a bill sponsored by a member of the Assembly, Mrs. Olawumi Oladeji.
Oladeji who represents Ogbomoso North while presenting the bill for the second reading said that the bill recommends that if convicted, owners of dogs which attack or bite people shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of one hundred thousand naira or six months imprisonment or both.
She spoke after the Dogs Amendment Bill, 2019 passed through second reading in the Oyo State House of Assembly on Thursday.
Oladeji added that the bill is meant to amend the Dogs Law of 1943 which was revised in 2000. The bill, according to her, is to prevent incessant dog bite as stories of dog attacks abound in the society.
The lawmaker noted that when passed, the law will make it mandatory for every dog owner to keep them under control so as to prevent the animals from attacking people.
She added that the bill provides that dogs must also be vaccinated against all communicable diseases including Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Rabies.
The amendment, according to her, further recommends that the total medical expenses incurred by the one bitten or injured by a dog must be borne by the owner, and if he fails to do this he or she will be guilty and liable on conviction to a fine of two hundred thousand naira or six months imprisonment or both.
Besides the above, the amendment is making it an offence for dog owners not to vaccinate their animals and the penalty for this if found culpable is a fine of two hundred thousand naira or six months imprisonment or both.
She said, “When passed, the law will make it mandatory for every dog owner to keep them under control so as to prevent the animals from attacking people while their dogs must also be vaccinated against all communicable diseases including Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Rabies hence a certificate of vaccination must be issued to ascertain such in line with international standard”.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin who acknowledged the importance of the Dogs Amendment Bill stated that the house had been on the bill since last year.
He said that the house intends to ensure a thorough job is done on the amendment so as to have a law that will address contemporary issues of dog attacks and proceed with necessary punishment.
The House, thereafter, referred the bill to its Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development for further consideration and scrutiny.