Man's Best Friend Gets a Supreme Court Nod - Highest Judicial Body of the Country Now an Ally!
04 Feb 2015
| by |
A man’s best friend finally has an ally in the country’s highest judicial body - the Supreme Court of India. On hearing of a petition filed by People for Elimination of Stray Animals (PESA), which wants stray dogs to be picked and killed, the Supreme Court stood up for man’s best friend and questioned the authority of the municipal bodies to pick stray dogs off the street and kill them simply because the public has called them a nuisance.
The bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra said that “a faithful dog is a faithful friend” and noted that the animal welfare laws do not clearly define “nuisance” and that may cause a problem with the governing bodies. Justice Mishra also pointed out that the subjective definitions in the Animal Act means that individuals who are averse to dogs will find them a “nuisance” and said that extermination of stray dogs for just being a nuisance to certain people was unfair.
For dog lovers and supporters across the country, it was a defining moment when Justice Mishra added that dogs react to human stimuli and mostly when a dog is troubled by someone they would bark. A round of applause was given when the Supreme court recognised that all animals, including the stray dogs were entitled to a life of dignity.
Last year, the AWBI too had revised it’s circular with regards to the unreasonable restrictions that many Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), Apartment Owner’s Association (AOA), Cooperative Housing Societies and other residential condominiums have adopted against owners or families that have pets. The AWBI circular also included clauses against the mistreatment and dislocation of street dogs in the surrounding areas. Many compassionate people who feed and look after the stray dogs are discouraged and pressurised to refrain from the same.
For your reference, some of the key points in the circular with regards to the treatment of street dogs have been appended herewith:
No street dog can be beaten or driven away or killed from the neighbourhood.
Animal birth control measures and vaccinations may be undertaken but the dogs will have to be released back into the same locality or territory after sterilisation and immunity
The same will be done as dogs are territorial in nature. They tend to fight off other dogs and keep them from entering into their territories hence stabilising the dog population within each locality.
There is no law that prohibits the feeding of street animals
Animal cruelty is an offense under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Sections 428 / 429 of the Indian Penal Code. The same is punishable with imprisonment and fine.
Attempts to interfere with or harass people who choose to tend to and feed community dogs, may lead to a grave offense of criminal intimidation.
Any aggression or hostility that the dogs may be subjected to, will only render them aggressive or hostile towards the humans.
Also, as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, Municipal Corporations will only permit the extermination of rabid, terminally ill or mortally wounded dogs.
Source: The Hindu