Some Law Cases in Support of Public Dog Feeding
As per the various provisions of law and the Fundamental Rights ensured under the Constitution of India, it is an offence to restrict, prohibit or cause inconvenience to any person adopting a stray dog, feeding and protecting it. Of course, Fundamental Rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India, also come with Fundamental Duties that a citizen is expected to perform for the betterment of the society.
The acts of resorting to dislocation, abduction, committing cruelty towards animals or pets and killing them, by an individual, residents’ welfare associations, or any other entity, are punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
Therefore, it is also the responsibility of the animal activist to ensure that no nuisance is created to others while feeding stray dogs. The rights of all living beings need to be protected and respected to make this world a better place to live in.
Delhi High Court had, on 18th December 2009 and 4th February 2010, actually passed a consent order mandating not only feeding of dogs but also feeding them to confine them to the localities/ areas that they belong to.
While pronouncing its judgements, the Delhi High Court stated that for the successful carrying out the provisions of Animal Birth Control (Dog) rules 2001, the services provided by the people and families who adopt, feed, provide shelter and assist in vaccination and sterilization of stray animals, in particular, dogs, were doing a great service to humanity by assisting the municipal authorities. Without the assistance of such individuals, the success of ABC Programme could not have been possible. Moreover, a well-fed or even half-fed stray dog is less likely to attack people coming in close contact with it.
The Hon’ble Court had further observed that the concerned municipal authorities and the local police were under an obligation not only to encourage such individuals and their families for such adoption but also provide them with protection. It had further stated that every individual had the right to lead a life in a manner suitable to him, and the community must recognize it.
Delhi High Court, vide its order dated 13th December 2011, has directed the various civic authorities, such as Delhi Government, Police, MCD, AWBI, various Residents’ Welfare Associations and Animal Rights Activists to work in tandem to earmark feeding spots across the city by the creation of designated spaces to feed stray dogs. The designated spots shall ensure proper implementation of the ABC Programme and to fight the menace caused by stray dogs. The designated spots shall make it possible for the municipal authorities to identify, sterilize and vaccinate and relocate the animal to the respective specific locality.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has amended the existing Animal and Birth Control (Dog) Rules, 2001, by including the provision for a “representative of the people who is a humanitarian or an individual who has experience in animal welfare in the locality”.
To provide impetus to residents by including them in Animal Birth Control (Dog) Programme, a monitoring committee, including representatives from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), municipal authorities and a local representative possessing necessary experience of working for animal welfare in the locality, is to be formed giving recognition to animal activists.
The Delhi Court also directed the Delhi Police to extend protection to the active animal activists feeding the dogs, who were facing harassment and threat for doing this social service in the locality. These animal activists not only feed the dogs but also vaccinated and sterilized the dogs which act was helpful for enforcement of ABC rules.
Because of the above observations and being equipped with the above judgements and in the light of the fact that our fundamental rights and fundamental duties go hand-in-hand and must be protected at all costs, as all living beings have a right to life and protection. Where it is correct to mention that a Dog Has Its Right to Survive. Likewise, a citizen of a country also has a right to live.
Therefore, our passion for compassion needs to be channelized in a manner where it attains a state of equilibrium and is directed towards the overall well-being of our surroundings.