Bill Advances to Waive Dog License Fees for Needy

Bill Proposes Exemption of Dog Licence Fee for Service Dogs and Low-Income Owners

In a move that could bring relief to service dog owners and financially challenged pet lovers, a new bill has made its way through the House environment committee, potentially waiving the annual dog licence fee for these groups. The proposed legislation seeks to amend Article 4 of the law on dogs, which currently requires pet owners to pay up to €20 annually for a dog licence.

Akel MP Nikos Kettiros, speaking after the committee meeting, highlighted the dual purpose of the amendment: to ease financial burdens without significantly impacting public finances or local authorities. Kettiros emphasized the importance of companion animals, particularly for those in need, and expressed hope that the exemption would encourage more adoptions from overcrowded animal shelters.

Despite some resistance from the Municipalities’ union, government agencies, and the Legal Service, Kettiros remains optimistic about the bill’s potential to deliver numerous benefits, extending beyond the financial scope. He questioned when animal welfare awareness would become a priority in government decision-making.

Diko MP Chrysanthos Savvides raised concerns about the bill’s implications on the number of animals per household. While rural homes with ample space may not face issues, Savvides argued against local authorities limiting the number of dogs in apartments or urban houses. He called for a unified nationwide policy on the matter, citing cases where households with an excessive number of dogs could lead to significant problems.

The proposed exemption would apply to one animal per residence, aiming to alleviate some of the challenges faced by service dog owners and low-income pensioners and welfare recipients. As the bill continues to garner attention, it stands as a testament to the growing recognition of the vital role that animals play in human lives and the need for policies that support responsible pet ownership.

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