A pilot campaign to have dog owners in Seychelles register their pets kicked off on Monday in the northern district of Bel Ombre with the aim to reduce and control the number of stray dogs in the area, and eventually throughout the country.
Organised by the Seychelles’ environment ministry, the dog registration officially kicks off the implementation of the Control and Protection of Dogs Act 2018. The implementation of the Act 2018 was due to start in March last year but was pushed back to this year. 
The public relations officer at the ministry, Linne Dubignon, told SNA that Bel Ombre is being targeted for the commencement of the campaign for two main reasons.
“We are targeting Bel Ombre as it is a district that has a high population of stray dogs. It will also be easier for our officers to have an idea of the challenges they will face on site. We are encouraging members of the public to register their dogs,” said Dubignon.
To facilitate the registration, the ministry is making available soft copies of the registration forms on the website of the National Biosecurity Agency (NBA). Hard copies of the form can be obtained at the office of the agency on the first floor at Orion Mall in Victoria, the capital.
Following registration, an officer will get in touch with the dog owner to complete the registration at home. Carried out between 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays, registration costs SCR50 ($3.3) for a sterilised dog and SCR500 ($34) for those not sterilised.
“There is this difference in price so as to deter the public from having dogs that they will later not look after. These dogs roam around and become stray dogs. These same dogs might later give birth to a litter that won’t be looked after either. This becomes a problem and pressure on the country. Registration of dogs will help tackle this and allows us to have a record of the number of dogs registered per home,” said Dubignon.
During the visit at home, the officer will place a microchip on the dog so as facilitate the identification of the animal should it get lost or found roaming around.
The officers will provide advice to the public on how to better take care of their pets as animal welfare is important under the Act.  The officers will also look at the area the dog is living in to determine if it is conducive and appropriate.
When first launched the Act stated that a person could have a maximum of five dogs per plot of land but this was revised following discussions with the public.
“A person can now have a certain number of dogs but this will depend heavily on the conditions the dogs are living in and if they do not cause a nuisance to the neighbourhood among other criteria,” said Dubignon.

Source: Seychelles News Agency