Stray Dog Menace: Govt Committee Formed 2 Years After SC Order

Srinagar—The government on Thursday formed a state-level monitoring committee for control and management of stray dog menace and canine bites in the state.

The Government issued an order for constitution of the committee and issuance of guidelines as Supreme Court hears a related Public Interest Litigation on Friday.

Headed by Administrative Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, the 9-member committee was constituted in compliance with the direction by the apex court, almost two years ago.

“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,” the apex court had said in an order on in November 2015.

The members of the panel include representatives of Finance Department, Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department, Director Animal Husbandry, Jammu/Kashmir, Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation/Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Director, Urban Local Bodies ammu/Srinagar, Representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India, J&K State Animal Welfare Board and two persons “actively involved in Animal Welfare (to be nominated by the Minister In-charge, Housing & Urban Development, J&K).

The Supreme Court underlined it was duty of the municipal corporation to provide infrastructure as mandated in the law.

The committee, constructed under Rules 4 & 5 of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001, shall be responsible for planning and management of dog control programme in accordance with these rules. The committee may issue instructions for catching, transportation, sheltering, sterilisation, vaccination, treatment and release of sterilized vaccinated or treated dogs. it has also been authorize to issue directions to veterinary doctor to decide on case to case basis the need to put to sleep critically ill or fatally injured or rabid dogs in a painless method by using sodium pentathol.

It has also been tasked to create public awareness, solicit co-operation and funding; provide guidelines to pet dog owners and commercial breeders from time to time; get a survey done of the number of street dogs by an independent agency; take such steps for monitoring the dog bite cases to ascertain the reasons of dog bite, the area where it took place and whether it was from a stray or a pet dog.

The committee has to also keep a watch on the national and international development in the field of research pertaining to street dogs' control and management, development of vaccines and cost effective methods of sterilization, vaccination, etc. The activities of the Committee shall be brought to the public notice by announcements and advertisements.

“In the meantime, it shall be the obligation of the State to see that the bites by the stray dogs are properly taken care of and appropriate legal steps are taken in that regard,” the Supreme Court said in last hearing earlier this year.

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