Mexico City pet owners, breeders and veterinarians are protesting a law passed by the city council requiring sterilization, chip implants and registration of all cats and dogs, according to the Associated Press.
The Mexican Dog Fanciers Federation said the law was rushed through in early May without adequate consultation, with veterinarian and breeder groups arguing the law could endanger thousands of jobs at clinics, pet salons and breeding and training facilities by causing a sharp drop in pet numbers, the AP reported.
Special permits will be needed to own "potentially dangerous" dogs, including pit bulls, mastiffs and Rottweilers and would have to be muzzled and leashed in public, the AP reported. The most controversial aspect is a requirement that all pets must be sterilized.
The city of nearly 9 million people has a serious problem with strays, puppy mills, animal mistreatment and illegal pet sales, according to the AP.
The law, which is not yet formally enacted, would require owners to register pets, implant identification chips, use collars with ID tags, and provide animals with adequate food, water and space, the AP reported.
Trainers could not work with pets in public and pets would have to be leashed in public, while children under 14 wouldn't be allowed to walk pets alone, according to the AP.
"The decision to sterilize pets should be voluntary," said Juan Luis Martinez, administrative director of the Mexican Dog Fanciers Federation, the AP reported. He said the law's requirements, including fines from about $100 up to as much as $5,000, could lead some poor residents to abandon pets in streets or parks.
"This could encourage noncompliance with the law, or lead people to dump them in the street," Martinez said, according to the AP.