Friday, May 24, 2013

Dog registration is now compulsory on Sal, Cape Verde

As part of the programme to reduce the number of animals roaming free on the island of Sal in Cape Verde, the Câmara Municipal (City Hall) today announced that all dogs must be registered by their owners.

Registration is just one part of encouraging dog-lovers to become more responsible owners.  In addition, owners will, in the near future, be required to either confine their animal or to keep them on a lead when in public places.  Hopefully, this will also help with the problem of dog mess on the beaches and streets.  

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of dogs wandering freely in Santa Maria, on the southern part of the island, are not stray, but are allowed to roam by their owners.  In a census completed by SOS Cães e Gatos (SOS Cats & Dogs) in 2011, just under 80% of dogs found in the street were claimed by someone.  In addition, the majority of the animals are now sterilised thanks to four intensive clinics that have seen 2,500+ animals neutered since 2010.  The results of this work are already being seen, with far less puppies & kittens being born on the island now.

The concept of dog 'ownership' is different in Cabo Verde than in other parts of the world and until now, it has been acceptable to let the dogs be free.  Now, however, with the growth in tourism and the need to keep the beaches clean, things are beginning to change.  It is hoped that the population will embrace these changes. 

In order to register your dog you should visit one of the locations (the old Câmara Municipal building in Santa Maria) mentioned on the poster below and bring your dog's vaccination record (if you have one) and your own identification.  Registration will cost CVE 300.  In return you will receive an identification tag.   If you have registered your dog at the Câmara Muncipal before, you will not have to pay, but you should still take your animal to transfer to the new scheme.  Please don't forget to bring your dog on a leash!  After you have done this there will be an annual license fee of approximately CVE 400.

It's important not to miss the deadline because, although you can still register after this date, it will be more expensive.

The registration and the requirement to control your dog are part of a series of proposed regulations that are expected to pass into law later in the summer.

The message is clear!  If you love your dog, register them, vaccinate them and take care of them!