In a ruling sure to warm the hearts of animal lovers, the Delhi High Court in India has asked the Animal Welfare Board to demarcate areas for stray dogs to be cared for and fed. It has also asked the AWBI to act swiftly against reports of cruelty to stray dogs.
There have been growing instances of stray dogs being subjected to cruelty and also people feeding the stray dogs being attacked. The ruling came after a case was filed involving 2 residents when one tried to restrain the other for feeding dogs at the entrance.
The High Court noted that these dogs are territorial and need to be fed within the areas they frequent. Such areas should be demarcated and not frequently by people. Compassionate people wanting to feed stray dogs are allowed to do so in front of their own houses. Others do not have the right to restrict them unless they are disturbing the general public.
High Court Rules In Favor Of People Who Feed Stray Dogs
The ruling by Justice J R Midha said that caution and care should be exercised while feeding stray dogs. It must be ensured that feeding them does not hinder or harass other individuals. At the same time members of the public have no right to stop such acts of compassion.
The dispute between the residents that led to the ruling was sealed amicably and a chosen spot was marked for feeding the stray dogs. The court verdict also deliberated on various dog categories and the role they play in society. A committee, formed by the court, will look into the implementation of the guidelines and will hold meetings every 4 weeks to discuss developments. The board includes representatives from the Animal Husbandry dept., municipal officials, advocates, and members of the Cantonment Board of Delhi.
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The court stressed that their animals, even strays, had a right to a life of dignity and respect. It said that their people had to be made aware of animal rights and instructed the AWBI to carry out awareness campaigns throughout the city. The court also noted that the stray dogs perform the role of street scavengers, and provide companionship to many people, including those who care for them. They can also be trained to become effective guard dogs.