Stray animals have right to food – By SOHINI BISWAS

Stray dogs have the correct to food and citizens have the correct to feed community canines, the Delhi judicature has said while observing that in exercising this right care and caution should be taken to confirm that it doesn’t impinge upon others and causes no harassment or nuisance.

The high court, while laying down guidelines regarding feeding of stray dogs, said every dog could be a territorial being and it’s to be fed and cared-for at places within their territory which isn’t frequented by the final public.

Any person having compassion for stray dogs can feed them at their private entrance or driveway of their house or the other place not shared with other residents but nobody can restrict the opposite from feeding of dogs, until and unless it’s causing harm or harassment to them, it said.

Community dogs (stray/street dogs) have the proper to food and citizens have the correct to feed community dogs but in exercising this right, care and caution should be taken to confirm that it doesn’t impinge upon the rights of others or cause any harm, hindrance, harassment and nuisance to other individuals or members of the society, Justice J R Midha said in a very recent 86-page verdict.

The court’s order came in an exceedingly case of dispute between two residents of a region on the difficulty of feeding stray dogs. one amongst them sought direction to restrain the opposite from feeding street dogs near the doorway of a property. Later, a settlement happened between the 2 and a chosen place was fixed for feeding the canines.

The verdict also discussed dog categories supported the roles they play service, therapy, rescue, hunting, tracking, cadaver, detection, police, and cancer detection dogs.

The court formed a committee, comprising the Director of husbandry Department or his nominee, senior officers of all municipal corporations, Delhi Cantonment Board and certain advocates, to implement the rules and asked it to carry its first meeting within four weeks.

The court said there’s a requirement to spread awareness that animals have a right to measure with respect and dignity and asked the AWBI to hold out an awareness campaign in association with media.

Animals have a right under law to be treated compassionately, respect and dignity. Animals are sentient creatures with an intrinsic value. Therefore, protection of such beings is that the moral responsibility of every and each citizen including the governmental and non-governmental organisations.

We have to indicate compassion towards all living creatures. Animals is also mute but we as a society must speak on their behalf. No pain or agony should be caused to the animals. Cruelty to animals causes psychological pain to them. Animals breathe like us and have emotions. The animals require food, water, shelter, normal behaviour, medical aid, self-determination, it said.

The court said street dogs perform the role of community scavengers and also control rodent population within the area thus preventing spread of diseases like Leptospirosis and that they also provide companionship to those that feed them and act as their stress relievers.

The court said despite the clear position of law prohibiting cruelty to the animal including stray dogs, there’s an increasing tendency of the citizens to defy the identical.

The court said it shall be the duty of the resident welfare association (RWA) or Municipal Corporation and every one government authorities including enforcement authorities like police to produce assistance and make sure that no hindrance is caused to the care-givers or feeders of community dogs and each canine has access to food and water within the absence of care-givers.

It said the Animals Welfare Board of India (AWBI) shall make sure that every RWA or MCD shall have an animal welfare committee accountable for ensuring compliance of provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and ensure harmony between care-givers, feeders or animal lovers and other residents.

It said community dogs need to be fed at areas designated by the AWBI in consultation with the RWAs or MCDs and while doing so, the authorities must be aware of the very fact that each community dog could be a territorial being and that they must be fed and cared-for at places within their territory.

It said the MCDs, at the request of the RWA or agency or volunteer, shall be liable for having the stray dogs vaccinated or sterilised and also the canines shall return to the identical area and that they can’t be removed by the municipality.

No hindrance, whatsoever, shall be caused to the persons in concluding any activities in respect of the road dogs at the said spot… If any of the road dogs is injured or unwell, it shall be the duty of the RWA to secure treatment for such dog by the vets made available by the MCD or privately from the funds of the RWA, it said.

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