Knesset members bark at dog tax proposed by haredim

An annual fee, proposed by United Torah Judaism MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev, would rise from 50 shekels to 3500.

 MK's Moshe Gafni and Yinon Azulai attend Finance committee meeting, in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on December 7, 2021.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
MK's Moshe Gafni and Yinon Azulai attend Finance committee meeting, in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on December 7, 2021.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Knesset members expressed outrage on Monday over a new bill that would massively increase the registration fee for dog owners.

The current fee is NIS 50 a year for dogs that are spayed or neutered. The bill, proposed by United Torah Judaism MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev, would raise it to NIS 3,500, regardless of whether such steps are taken. Owners of at least two canines would have to pay NIS 7,000 annually.

Gafni said the goal of the bill is to help the environment and use the money raised by the bill to help efforts to limit the street cat population. He pointed out that dogs eat large amounts of processed meat that emit carbon, and their droppings are picked up with environmentally harmful plastic bags.

“This environmental fee will reflect the great damage done to the environment caused by raising dogs, who harm the delicate ecological balance,” Gafni said.

Agriculture Minister Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) said he would make sure the bill would not become law. He said the bill would harm animal lovers and encourage the abandonment of pets.

 MUST LOVE dogs: A multitasking pooch walker on Sderot Chen, Tel Aviv. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90) MUST LOVE dogs: A multitasking pooch walker on Sderot Chen, Tel Aviv. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

Yesh Atid MK Yasmin Sax Fridman said the bill would discourage dog adoption and result in more unwanted dogs being killed. Her Yesh Atid colleague, MK Yorai Lahav Hertzanu, said he just got a new dog and would not let such a large tax increase pass.

“Yesterday we adopted a dog, and today I heard about a delusional bill that would fine anyone with a dog thousands of shekels, under the guise of helping the climate crisis,” said Lahav Hertzanu. “MKs Gafni and Maklev, those who see dogs as an environmental burden, do not understand the significance of the climate crisis or having pets. I recommend starting by limiting consumption (plastic utensils for instance) and moving on from there.”