File Photo: A German shepherd is being walked. AFP
"The bill is meant to address the possession and handling of dangerous animals, the ownership of dogs without a licence, and the spread of stray dogs threatening people's lives," said Ahmed El-Sigini, chairman of the Local Administration Committee at the House of Representatives, who drafted the bill.
"The bill comes in response to hundreds of complaints parliament received from citizens to take legislative action against stray dogs that threaten people's lives on the street and to regulate the possession of dangerous animals that attack citizens, particularly children and the elderly," he added.
The bill is in line with international agreements Egypt signed and regulations passed by the World Health Organisation.
"Egypt has lately been rocked by a series of tragic incidents in which wild animals and dogs (such as pit bulls) attacked citizens and led to the death of some people.
"Official figures show there were 400,000 cases of dog bites last year, which led the state treasury to bear the massive financial cost of importing rabies shots to treat injured citizens," said chair of the Agriculture Committee Hisham El-Hossary.
"The bill is meant to stem the phenomenon of persons possessing or walking with wild animals freely in public places like gardens, parks, residential areas and hotels without taking the necessary precautions to protect people from these animals," he added.
"People will also be required to vaccinate their animals against the diseases specified by the concerned minister (minister of agriculture)," an article in the bill reads.
The bill stipulates that owners -- 18 years or older -- license their dogs within six months of passing the law. The licence will cost between EGP 1,000 and EGP 15,000.
"Every licensed dog should have a serial number on a tag around its neck, wear a muzzle, and be leashed in public," read the explanatory note of the bill.
"Once the bill is passed and ratified, the House will remain in contact with the ministries of interior, local development, agriculture, health, and finance to make sure it is implemented on the ground," El-Sigini said.
"According to the bill, veterinary medicine directorates will keep electronic and paper registration files containing the name of the dog owner, their place of residence, and a detailed description of the licensed dog," said El-Sigini.
"The bill's executive regulations will stipulate that a hotline be available to help citizens report incidents caused by dogs and dangerous animals," he added.
The bill imposes strict penalties on dog owners who fail to obtain licences, ranging from one to more than 20 years in prison and fines between EGP 100,000 and EGP 4 million.