To address the stray dog problem, a rational solution must be found, and posted the case for hearing on September 28, said Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has observed that those who feed stray dogs could be held responsible if the dogs attack people. The apex court also said such people should be liable for vaccinating stray dogs.
Moreover, the court further said that the stray dog feeders should also be responsible for bearing the cost of the treatment if strays bite people. The court also highlighted a need to solve the stray dogs’ menace.
Heading the Bench, Justice Sanjiv Khanna observed orally, “I am also a dog lover, and there are many other dog lovers here… We have to accept that there is a problem. Dogs may become ferocious due to lack of food, or they may get an infection.”
There are 1.5 crore dog bites cases in India
Since 2019 data shows that India has registered over 1.5 crore animal bite cases. In Uttar Pradesh, the highest number of cases were recorded i.e. (27,52,218), followed by Tamil Nadu (20,70,921), Maharashtra (15,75,606) and West Bengal (12,09,232). At the same time, Lakshadweep reported zero dog bite cases.
Massive animal bite cases in 2019, i.e., 72,77,523, fell to 46,33,493 in 2020 and a year later was 17,01,133. However, the first seven months of 2022 alone registered over 14.5 lakh examples. This year, Tamil Nadu is on top with the highest number of cases, i.e. (251,510). Moreover, India also reports over 100 rabies cases and deaths every year.
Dog bite happenings involving strays have been much more as compared to pets. According to 2019 count, India has 1,53,09,355 stray dogs, down from 1,71,38,349 in 2012. The highest number of stray dogs are found in Uttar Pradesh (20,59,261), Odisha (17,34,399) and Maharashtra (12,76,399). Lakshadweep, Manipur, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli reported zero stray dogs.
The apex court has been hearing a batch of appeals on problems relating to stray dogs, which have become a risk, especially in Mumbai and Kerala.
There are some individual solicitors and NGOs who have moved the apex court against the judgments of some high courts, including the Kerala High Court and Bombay High Court, to allow municipal authorities to deal with the stray dog threat according to the rules. The court has fixed September 28 as the next hearing date in the case.