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The below information and documents have been gratefully provided by Mrs. Anjali Sharma, legal advisor to the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Please use them whenever you feel harassed by your local RWA or any other person who attempts to harass you for befriending street dogs,-for these animals have as much a right to inhabit the areas they were born in as we do.
Where these street dogs are born is where they belong.
There is no law that prohibits feeding of street animals, and that citizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India.
Persons who are trying to interfere with their effort, or display aggression, can be held liable for having committed the offence described in the Indian Penal Code and criminal intimidation.
Moreover, that as per Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 (Rules under Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960), vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations.
Attached below are some self-explanatory documents, whose print outs you can take and use and even circulate the same amongst the residents of your area :
1. The scanned copy of a circular (2 pages) issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Training, on the aspect of street animal feeding ;
2. A scanned copy of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 (please specifically refer to Rule 7) ;
3. The scanned copy of a directive issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India, constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests ;
4. Scanned copy of an M.C.D. notification, showing the approach of the M.C.D. with regard to street animals (which is based on the law of the land) ;
5. Scanned copy of a Times of India news report regarding a Delhi High Court direction to the police to protect persons who feed stray dogs ;
6. Scanned copy of a Hindustan Times news report regarding the view taken by the Supreme Court regarding stray dogs;
7. Scanned copy of an order passed by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi.
Additionally, Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code also provides for imprisonment and fine in cases involving animal cruelty.
Every citizen of India is thus hereby advised to abide by the law, and refrain from uncivilized, criminal actions such as seeking to intimidate those who choose to deal with street animals compassionately.