A guide to prevention of cruelty to animals & pets - Part 2

13 Apr 2015 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

“We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.” César Chávez

sindian street dogs

Cesar Chavez, an American farm worker, labour leader, civil rights activist and a believer of animal rights has expressed a heartwarming sentiment in the simplest of words. In our last article we elaborated on the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the sections of the Indian Penal Code that can be referred to in case of serious offences against animals and companion pets.

In this article, we will elaborate on different aspects with regards to the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA), Apartment Owners Associations (AOA), Cooperative Housing Societies and other residential condominiums and the solution to the complaints that have been raised by many concerned residents about the mistreatment and dislocation of street dogs in the surrounding areas. Both the Animal Welfare Board of India and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act have laid down guidelines to curb the widespread resentment to the unreasonable and irrational steps taken by the RWAs. The guidelines are in lieu of the court rulings against the ill treatment of street dogs in a residential community.

Appended herewith are the key points that have been iterated in the Act as well as the circular:

Section / Article Act / Circular Details
Article 51 A Constitution of India
  • It iterates the duties of citizens of India and one of the duties includes compassion for all. 
Article 21 Constitution of India
  • It allows the right to liberty and personal life.
  • Liberty extends to anyone who wishes to feed or provide shelter to dogs.
Section 503 Indian Penal Code
  • Provides that intimidation is a cognizable offence. 
  • Applicable to anyone who threatens or intimidates any person taking care of dogs.
  • Can be arrested without a warrant.

In a Judgement passed by the Delhi Court, the AWBI and Municipal Authorities have been given the following guidelines:

  • Adoption of stray animals is in aid of Municipal Authorities as it helps in carrying out the sterilization process.
  • The local police and municipal authorities are to care for the individuals who take care of the neighbourhood dogs.

According to the circular issued by AWBI, the following key points are applicable with regards to the care of neighbourhood dogs:

  • 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. 
  • Relocation of sterilised dogs is not permissible as it would increase such problems as increase in dog bites or get aggressive towards residents and existing dogs.

Our neighbourhood dogs have a right to a peaceful life and it is the right and grant of liberty of every compassionate animal lover to take care of the dogs in a manner they deem fit, without the fear of intimidation or threat. Do share in your experiences and measures that you have adopted to take care of our dogs.

Image source: Times of India

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