The High Court of Karnataka has said that sympathy towards stray dogs by way of feeding them should not come at the cost of creating chaos and danger to the public.
The division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the state government’s alleged delay in implementing the Animal Welfare Board’s guidelines, said, “Duty is cast upon such citizens (dog feeders) to ensure that activity shall not cause hindrance or health hazard to his fellow citizens.” The HC said the government was delaying its response to the petition. Directing the government to rectify its behaviour, the high court gave it three weeks to file objections to the PIL. It warned that the court may have to issue orders against the government if there is further delay.
During the hearing, the court observed that citizens too have a stake in the issue, and feeding animals in undesignated places causes health hazards and other problems.
“The common experience is that except feeding of street dogs, there is no incident being reported that such citizens are coming forward to assist public bodies in the exercise of sterilisation or vaccination of stray dogs,” the HC noted.
About feeding stray dogs, the HC said, “I don’t mind showing some sympathy to animals but not at the cost of the chaos created. Feeding stray dogs in undedicated locations would certainly cause some apprehension in the minds of school-going children and the possibility of some stray dogs rushing towards school-going children cannot be ruled out.”
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