Compassion should be shown to stray dogs but these animals should not be allowed to become a menace to the society, the Supreme Court said Wednesday. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit said it would hear in detail the aspect of revised module containing implementation frame work for controlling street dog population and other measures filed by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the lead petitioner in the case.
“Compassion should be shown towards stray dogs but at the mean time, these animals cannot be allowed to become a menace to the society. A balance needs to be created for dealing with such situation,” the bench said.
Senior advocate C A Sundaram along with advocate Anjali Sharma appearing for AWBI said the revised module contained procedures prescribed in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for eradicating the threat of rabies and reducing man-dog conflict along with suggestions from various states and litigants.
The board suggested the bench that a Central Coordination Committee with representation from various union ministeries should be set up for implementation of these measures. Sundaram further said state level coordination committees in addition to the district level animal birth control monitoring committees, provided for in the Animal Birth Control Rules, should be established.
The board further said that better interaction between all stakeholders and better funding of the programme by the Centre and the States, was needed for the animal birth control programme to be implemented for optimal results.
Senior advocate Anand Grover appearing for Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organization (FIAPO), said Animal Birth Control (ABC) rules should be implemented in letter and spirit and states should be directed to file compliance report on what action is being taken to sterilise and vaccinate dogs.
The bench which was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by various NGOs and individual petitioners posted the matter for further hearing on October 4 and said it would also consider a petition challenging the constitutional validity of Animal Birth Control Rules.
An apex court appointed panel headed by former Kerala High Court judge Justice S S Jagan has in its interim report said that more than one lakh people in Kerala have been bitten by dogs in 2015-16 and warned that frequent stray dog attacks on children there has created a dangerous situation.
On April 5, the apex court had appointed the committee to look into the aspect of treatment of people bitten by stray dogs in Kerala and the claims of compensation. Some NGOs and individual petitioners have moved the apex court against the decisions of some high courts, including the Bombay High Court and the Kerala High Court, to allow municipal authorities to deal with the stray dogs menace as per the rules.
The apex court had earlier declined to pass an interim order to stay culling of stray dogs by Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation on a PIL by advocate Anupam Tripathi, saying the killing of dangerous dogs and those infected with rabies should be guided by the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.