Public health permanent secretary Dr Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk clarified today (Monday) that the Public Health Ministry has no authority to oversee pet dogs and cats and that his talk about imposing tax on the raising of dogs and cats was just an idea.
He said that there are now several agencies which are now responsible for rabies infection among dogs and cats and, in his opinion, different measures must be undertaken simultaneously to deal effectively with rabies.
Imposing some forms of tax on owner of a dog, said Dr Jedsada, was just an example that was put into practice in some countries, which requires a dog owner to register his/her dog with authorities concerned and tax is imposed for the third dog that he/she owns.
But there is no such law in Thailand, he said as he suggested dog or cat owners to have their pets vaccinated.
According to the Public Health Ministry, six people have died this year from rabies.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of agricultural and cooperatives, Mr Sorawit Thaneeto, said there must be a public hearing for all stakeholders to voice their opinions if tax is to be actually imposed on dog or cat owners.
He pointed out that problem regarding stray dogs and cats has been on the rise and, so far, and there is no law designating any authority to be in charge of the problem.
However, he said that the problem should be treated as a national agenda and it should be proposed to the National Legislative Assembly so that a bill could be initiated for consideration in the assembly.
An online public hearing is being conducted to gauge public opinions about a bill to control pet dogs and cats to be followed by a public hearing to be held at the National Legislative Assembly on March 28.
Essentially, the bill will require owner of a pet dog or cat to register the animals with authorities concerned, failing that the owner or owners will be fined, but there will not be a dog's tax or cat's tax, said Dr Sorawit.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)