“Stray dogs have a right to live.”
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected petition seeking to completely “destroy” stray dog, by claiming that it was not the solution because they also have the right to live.
According to the justice bench
Dipak Misra and R Banumathi observed that though culling of stray dogs was acceptable, there has to be a balance and a proper method for this. When one of the petitioners told the apex court that he wanted to “totally destroy” stray dogs across India.
The bench said “nobody can destroy stray dogs in entirety. They also have a right to live.”
The apex court has been hearing a batch of petitions on issues relating to orders passed by various civic bodies on culling of stray dogs which have become a menace, especially in Kerala and Mumbai.
During the hearing, the bench said in Kerala, there were issues of human concern but for this all stray dogs cannot be killed. “A person can die due to dog bite. It is an accident and for that, we cannot say kill all the stray dogs,” it said.
Dog bite cases
The bench was also informed that a panel headed by former Kerala High Court judge Sri Jagan had received around 400 matters related to dog bites and it was working on it. The panel was set up by the apex court to inquire into incidents in which people and even children killed stray dogs and these acts were supported by several vigilante groups in Kerala.
When an advocate told the court that people have died due to dog bites in Kerala and children were unable to go to school due to this menace.
The bench said “just because there are some stray dogs in a field or a school, they cannot be killed. They have to be taken to shelter homes if there is no way out, they have to be culled and not killed. But there has to be a method for it.”
On this, one of the petitioners said, “He would construct shelter homes for dogs in his area in Kerala but the apex court asked him to submit a concrete proposal and prepare a road map.”
The Supreme Court had earlier controlled vigilante groups in Kerala from imparting training to children, distributing air guns to the people at subsidized rates to kill stray dogs and publicly propagate that there was a “war” against stray dogs in the state.
Kerala’s counsel had told the bench the state government was making “immense efforts” to curtail the spread of stray dogs and trying to ensure that no canines attack humans.
In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Centre had said, “Involvement of various agencies/departments at the central and state level, more particularly at the state level, was required in proper and effective control and management of stray dogs as per ABC Rules implemented by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).”
Some NGOs and individual petitioners have moved the apex court against the decisions of some high courts, including the Bombay High Court and Kerala High Court, to allow municipal authorities to deal with the stray dogs menace as per the rules.
Source: The Indian Express
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