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04 June 2009

Time limit for barking dogs

Cape Town mutts that bark more than six minutes an hour could find themselves in the dog box with law enforcement officials, in terms of a draft by-law.

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Cape Town mutts that bark more than six minutes an hour could find themselves in the dog box with law enforcement officials, in terms of a draft by-law.

The measure, which will soon be released for public comment, is an attempt to deal with canines that arouse the ire of neighbours by barking continuously.

In a media release on Thursday, the city said the by-law was "very specific" on what constituted nuisance behaviour. "Owners may not keep any dog which barks for 'more than six minutes in any hour or more than three minutes in any half hour', causing disturbance to inhabitants of a neighbourhood," it said.

"An official may order the owner to take steps to effectively stop such nuisance and keep the dog under proper control."

By-law a revised version of controversial draft
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the city had drawn on international guidelines to manage the rights of pet owners and their neighbours. He said the by-law, a revised version of a heavily-criticised earlier draft, would allow pet owners to keep up to four dogs and four cats per property.

Those who wanted to keep more could apply for a permit. There would be automatic approval for the existing number of animals on a property at the time the law was implemented. If a dog defecated in any public place, the person in control of the dog would be required to "immediately remove the excrement and dispose of it in a litter bin". – (Sapa, June 2009)

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