Important message for stray animal feeders/caregivers in the light of complete lockdown announced by state governments of Maharashtra, Delhi and several other states to prevent further spread of COVID-19:
Please understand that there is a difference between lockdown and curfew.
Lockdown means that offices, shops, malls, certain government offices, public transport etc shall remain shut, emergency services will function and essential commodities will continue to be available.
During curfew, it is advised that people shouldn’t step out unless there’s an emergency.
However, during a lockdown, you may do what is essential and unavoidable, for instance – feed strays that you have been tending to. Nobody can stop you from feeding strays responsibly. Remember, you are merely discharging your constitutional duty of being a responsible citizen as mandated by Article 51(A)(g) of the Constitution of India by looking after animals and showing compassion towards them. Imposition of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code means gathering of more than 5 people is prohibited. For feeding/medicating, it’s generally only one person and probably one more to help/assist. You are not in violation of any law if you do it responsibly.
Please do not panic, there is no reason to.
If any police officer or civic body official approaches, questions or asks you not to feed animals, to begin with, POLITELY explain to them what the law says, that you do it responsibly without causing nuisance to anybody, and that it is not illegal to feed strays, on the other hand it is illegal to prevent people from responsibly feed stray.
If that doesn’t work, only then get an animal activist, NGO or an Animal Welfare Officer involved.
First you should do the talking by trying to reason out, explaining common sense stuff like animals cannot survive on the roads without food, especially when they are used to getting fed by you.
Please stay safe and indoors as much as possible!
Credits for this Informative Text: Meet Ashar