The Government is proposing to introduce a new amendment to the Dog Registration Ordinance to impose a fine or a term of imprisonment on persons who let dogs registered under their ownership go astray.

The move which has been proposed by the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government, seeks to impose either a fine of up to Rs 25,000 or a maximum prison term of two years on offenders.

The move to bring in new provisions to the Ordinance comes in the wake of complaints made to the Ministry by those residing in close proximity to hospitals and schools. Complaints include the presence of rabid dogs in these neighbourhoods.

Legal Officer of the Legal Division of the Ministry, Gayani Premathilake also said that the proposed law would if enacted be implemented island-wide.

When queried as to how they sought to ascertain the ownership of a stray dog, she noted that such aspects of the proposed law were presently being discussed and no final decision had been taken in this regard yet.

“Whether the enforcement aspect is to be handled by the police or Local Government authorities are yet to be decided on. There are some grey areas in this regard. However, we hope that the law will be a successful one,” she explained.

Ministry Secretary H.T. Kamal Pathmasiri was not available for comment.