The Interim order of the Supreme Court of India passed on the 18th Nov 2015 while hearing ‘all street dog related matters’ emphatically directs that the laws made viz. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 have to be implemented and that there shall not be any indiscriminate killing of dogs. The Supreme Court Order observed that “There can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and that they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner…”
The key points in this Interim Order issued by the Honourable Supreme Court of India on 18th November 2015 are as follows:
The Order states- “There can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner, but indubitably the lives of the human beings are to be saved and one should not suffer due to dog bite because of administrative lapse.”
It further reiterates that, “Rule 6 of the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001 enacted under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, provides for obligations of the local authority. Rule 7 deals with capturing/sterilisation/ immunisation/release. Rule 8 deals with identification and recording and Rule 9 provides for euthanasia of street dogs. Rule 10 deals with furious or dumb rabid dogs.” and goes on to add that, ” As we find, the local authorities have a sacrosanct duty to provide sufficient number of dog pounds, including animal kennels/shelters, which may be managed by the animal welfare organizations, that apart, it is also incumbent upon the local authorities to provide requisite number of dog vans with ramps for the capture and transportation of street dogs; one driver and two trained dog catchers for each dog van; an ambulance-cum-clinical van as mobile centre for sterlisation and immunisation; incinerators for disposal of carcasses and periodic repair of shelter or pound. Rule 7 has its own significance. The procedure has to be followed before any steps are taken. Rules 9 and 10 take care of the dogs which are desirable to be euthanised.”
To explain to our readers Rule 9 – it means that only mortally wounded or terminally ill dogs i.e.when and only when a dog is unfit for survival/has no chance of recovery/healing which is medically proven by a Government certified Veterinary Doctor and it’s survival causes more pain for it is when u can think of euthanising.
….and then the order hammers home the point, that for now that the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001, (for short, ‘the 2001 Rules’) shall prevail over the provisions contained in any local Act/Municipality Act by stating that, “for the present it is suffice to say that all the State municipal corporations, municipal committees, district boards and local bodies shall be guided by the Act and the Rules and it is the duty and obligation of the Animal Welfare Board to see that they are followed with all seriousness. It is also the duty of all the municipal corporations to provide infrastructure as mandated in the statute and the rules. Once that is done, we are disposed to think for the present that a balance between compassion to dogs and the lives of human being, which is appositely called a glorious gift of nature, may harmoniously co-exist.”.
And towards the end of this Interim Order passed by the Honourable Supreme Court of India, instructions are laid out for the Local bodies to follow, “The local authorities shall file affidavits including what kind of infrastructures they have provided, as required under the law. Needless to emphasize, no innovative method or subterfuge should be adopted not to carry out the responsibility under the 1960 Act or the 2001 Rules. Any kind of laxity while carrying out statutory obligations, is not countenanced in law.”
“A copy of the order passed today be sent to the Chief Secretary of each of the States and the competent authority of Union Territories, so that they can follow the same in letter and spirit. We would also request all the High Courts not to pass any order relating to the 1960 Act and the 2001 Rules pertaining to dogs. Needless to say, all concerned as mentioned herein-above, shall carry out this order and file their respective affidavits as directed“…are the concluding lines of this order as the matter gets listed for Final Hearing and Disposal on 9th March 2016.
The Press Release issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India on the above stated order, is shared below.