Stray Dogs - Recommendations to
STRAY DOGS AND RABIES
C) Vaccines and Vaccination
D) Legal Responsibility for Managing
E) Present Management of Stray
F) Dangers of Animal Birth Control
G) Expert Opinions on the Success
of ABC Programs
H) Experts’ Problem - Solving
Strategies and Suggestions
J) Policy Recommendations
latest scientific opinion has been assembled and presented here to
support the legal provisions in Municipal Acts, as the problem of
stray dogs and dog-bites has grown to a gigantic magnitude:
has the highest population of stray dogs in the world, an
estimated 19 million. In
city alone, there are an estimated 200,000 stray dogs
today, an average of about 10 dogs for every kilometer of
road length in
. This closely matches
the number of stray dogs one can normally see at night.
The BMP and its Mayor claim that there are over
25,000 dog bites a year in Bangalore Municipal limits alone, and
probably another half as many cases (no estimates exist) in the
seven City Municipal Councils (CMCs) encircling the BMP.
There are numerous incidents of two-wheeler
accidents caused by stray dogs annually in BMP limits alone.
80% of all rabies deaths world-wide occur in
, about 30,000 deaths being reported each year.
The actual figure is perhaps four to five times higher, as
many cases (e.g. those treated by private doctors, nursing homes
or hospitals) go unreported .
Annually, there are 50 reported and perhaps 500
unreported or undiagnosed cases of rabies in
and surroundings, which are invariably fatal and involve 2-7 days
of excruciating torture and untreatable pain, in patients fully
alert and aware of their impending fate.
This is the reason why so few get themselves admitted into
the restraining cages at the Govt isolation hospital which is the
only institution that accepts them.
42% of dog-bite victims are children
62% of dogs found rabid are less than 1 year old and
many are puppies
40% of dogs vaccinated only one time have lost most
of their humoral immunity 4-6 months later
6% of dogs found rabid have a reliable rabies
Besides rabies, dogs can transmit 50 diseases to
humans, ranging from the common roundworm infestations to several
chronic diseases and a few rare and fatal diseases like rickettsia
which also affect pet dogs.
.Bangalore city’s 2 lakh dogs add 70 tons a day of
solid waste all over its streets, making street sweeping difficult
and disgusting, while exposing both sweepers and passers-by,
especially school-going children, to faecal-borne diseases.
Noise pollution caused by night fights between packs
of dogs is a serious problem especially for senior citizens
children who have nowhere to play but in the streets are at
serious risk when they play with street pups without being aware
of the consequences.
riders, even if they escape dog-bites, suffer considerable trauma
and expense after falls caused by avoiding stray dogs, which often
result in expensive repairs to both vehicle and rider.
Uncontrolled populations of rapidly-breeding stray
dogs can reach unbelievably large numbers in a very few years.
Stray dogs on runways have forced pilots to take
evasive action, causing near-accidents to aircraft and
necessitating orders from the Mumbai High Court to IAAI to take
all necessary measures to clear airport areas of stray dogs.
STRAY DOG PROBLEMS
and its satellite areas are currently the focus of Karnataka State
Govt attempts to make them the IT and Biotech capital of
. To attract foreign
investment, the Govt is making efforts to improve infrastructure
and amenities by concentrating on highways and flyovers, optic
fibre cable and cellular networks.
One of the major challenges yet to be addressed is to make
these improved roads safe and accident-free by removing garbage
and stray dogs.
Dogs that have homes and are looked after properly by human
beings are indeed “man’s best friend”. When they are
ownerless and starving and survive by foraging on waste, they turn
feral, reverting to their wild ways and forming hunting packs at
night that regularly attack livestock in the villages around
Bangalore where garbage is currently dumped.
Within urban areas, their “wild” (feral) ways and
hunting instincts are expressed by wandering in packs in the
streets and instinctively chasing vehicles and children or joggers
and frequently biting them, especially on the face or feet which
is their natural way to catch prey.
This is a result of the cruelty of allowing hungry
ownerless dogs to fight viciously for survival by honing their
hunting skills on the nearest available moving objects.
Rag-pickers are most at risk of dog-bites, as they try to
drive dogs off garbage heaps in order to look for recyclables.
Postmen and couriers also suffer.
Every area, every layout, every street and road is infested
with stray dogs. Their
activities appear to peak during evenings and in the hours of
darkness, but even daylight attacks are common:
stray dogs attacked a sheep in the
itself, and a boy Dhanraj was
also savagely attacked by stray dogs by day in Krishnarajapura.
Unfortunately, these biting habits have several adverse
effects : physical, psychological, economic and educational, as
children and their parents miss days of school and work to get
themselves treated. Every
two-wheeler accident, every dog-bite, entails trauma and expense
not just for the victims but their families too.
The results of dog-bite for those who neglect to vaccinate
themselves after a slight wound can be terrifying: the
indescribable agony of a rabies death can only be understood by
visiting a victim, caged and screaming in pain and spasms in the
isolation hospital, or tied to a bed at home to die.
Rabies once contracted is invariably 100% fatal, and there
is no remedy if anti-rabies vaccines fail to help, as they do in
96% of rabies deaths are caused by dog-bites, with 45% of
their victims being slum children.
Though some other species can transmit rabies too,
dogs are the natural carriers of this acute
encephalomyelitis virus. As
mentioned earlier, 62% of dogs found rabid are less than one year
old and many are puppies. It
is possible and advisable to immunize pet dogs against rabies by a
regular program of annual or biannual vaccinations punctually over
the entire lifetime of the dog.
Even this does not guarantee immunity:
6% of dogs found rabid have a reliable rabies vaccine
Anything short of this long-term immunization does not
help: 40% of dogs
vaccinated only one time lose most of their immunity 4-6 months
later. What is more
dangerous is the likelihood that one-time-vaccinated dogs may not
die quickly as in nature and remove themselves as a hazard to dog
and human populations, but survive to become permanent carriers of
the rabies virus. Thus
even a bite from an apparently healthy dog can be fatal for
humans. This means
that NO dog-bite whatever can be ignored, ever.
A veterinary professor emphasizes this by advising his
students to take immediate anti-rabies treatment “even if they
dream they are bitten by a dog”.
VACCINES and VACCINATION
Pets are often protected, but even the slightest stray-dog
bite or scratch puts humans at risk.
Vaccination after every such incident is a life-saving
precaution, as.some rabies patients do not even recall being
bitten at all. There
are two types of vaccines for humans available in
. The older Nerve
Tissue Vaccine (NTV) or Semple vaccine is made in
at 9 centres, from sheep brains, for which one sheep per patient
(1 sheep for 15 doses) receives
an injection through a hole drilled in its skull, then suffers
with rabies for 4-5 days till its infected brain can be harvested
and the carcass incinerated. Thus
maintaining 200,000 stray dogs on Bangalore’s streets with
perhaps 72,000 bites a year and only perhaps 25,000
persons getting themselves vaccinated, requires the
painful, agonizing and needless death of 25,000 sheep a year.
This Semple vaccine causes mild to very severe and even
fatal complications, which is why it has been banned by WHO but is
still made in
. Only Semple vaccine
is supplied in Govt hospitals in Karnataka and costs about Rs 25
per dose for 14 injections (total Rs 350) which have to be taken
in the abdomen and are very painful.
In the last decade, improved vaccines called PCEC (Purified
Chick Embryo Cell) vaccine or PVRV (Purified Vero Cell Rabies
Vaccine) have been
developed, which are safe and without side effects. It has to be
taken in 5 doses, on Day 0, 3, 7, 14 and 30, each costing Rs 300
(total Rs 1500 per course), so it is too expensive for the common
man and unlikely to be available at Government hospitals in
Karnataka in the near future, although Kerala has already
controlled its dog population and switched to these safe new
vaccines and Andhra Pradesh proposes to switch to them shortly
also. These vaccines
are not readily available everywhere in Karnataka, leading to
severe and unnecessary risk to humans that have come in contact
with stray dogs.
Treatment to prevent rabies after a dog-bite or a
dog-scratch is costly for the common man, yet the four General
Insurance Companies (National Insurance Co Ltd, New India
Assurance Co Ltd, Oriental Insurance Co Ltd and United India
Insurance Co Ltd) do not have any Mediclaim coverage that provides
for dog-bite accidents and the necessary cost of anti-rabies
and Oriental do not cover it at all, New India gives its agents
discretion to compensate only very severe dog-bites, and National
has some circular on the subject not available to all agents.
This discourages people from getting themselves vaccinated
despite its importance.
For severe bites, an important requirement to prevent
rabies is to inject RIGs (Rabies Immuno-Globulins) into the site
of the wound. This is
especially important for persons whose immune systems are weakened
by TB or AIDS. Unfortunately,
these life-saving drugs are not at all available in either the BMP
To prevent rabies in dogs which contact or are bitten by
other dogs, there is a canine vaccine for dogs, which requires a
“priming dose” to be given punctually at the age of 9-12
weeks, then another vaccination after a month, a year and annually
for at least 5 years or more to give lifelong immunity from both
the disease and to prevent a dog from becoming a reservoir of the
rabies virus. The
correct timing of vaccinations is very important for effective
results, which is 94% at best.
Even then, 6% of dogs that become rabid have a reliable
rabies vaccine history. The
vaccine costs Rs 10 per dose for sheep-brain vaccine, now replaced
and Biologicals (IAH&VB) by a Tissue culture (TC) vaccine
which costs Rs 55 per dose in the market, or Rs
330 for the full course,
slightly more than the cheapest treatment for humans.
This expense is justified if adoption and home shelter for
strays is to be encouraged, but totally unjustifiable for
releasing imperfectly vaccinated dogs on the streets in violation
of Municipal Acts.
It is good that the IAH&VB makes up-to-date vaccines available
for dogs, but extraordinarily strange that the State of
does not value human safety and comfort sufficiently to provide
uptodate vaccines for humans to replace the painful
Semple vaccine which has so many side-effects as to be
banned by WHO.
In all Municipal Acts, control of stray dogs is explicitly
and emphatically the responsibility of the civic authority.
Section 87 of the Karnataka Municipalities Act 1964
(amended 1995) lists the “Obligatory functions of municipal
councils. – “It shall be incumbent on every municipal council
to make adequate provision by any means or resources which it may
lawfully use or take for each of the following matters within the
municipal area, namely (p)
“arranging for the destruction or the detention and
preservation of such dogs within the municipal area as may be
dealt with under the law in force relating to police or under
Section 222 of this Act” and
(q) “providing facilities for anti-rabic treatment and
treatment of lepers and mental patients and meeting the expenses
of indigent persons undergoing anti-rabic treatment within or
outside the municipal limits.”
The said “Section 222 Provision as to dogs”, under
sub-section (1) requires every unleased dog to be muzzled.
Section 222 (2) requires the Municipality to “take
possession of any dog found wandering unmuzzled in any public
place and may either detain such dog… or cause it to be
destroyed” and u/s 222 (6) “No damage shall be payable in
respect of any dog destroyed under this section.”
Similarly, the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976 (KMC
Act) under Section 58 lists out the
obligatory functions of the Bangalore City Corporation :
“It shall be incumbent on the Corporation to make reasonable and
adequate provision by any means or measures which it is lawfully
competent to use or to take for each of the following matters,
the destruction of birds or animals causing nuisance, or of
vermin and confinement or destruction of stray and ownerless
Section 58 (22): “preventing and checking the spread of
dangerous diseases.” Dangerous
diseases have been defined in Section 2 (8) to mean (a) anthrax,
chicken pox, cholera, diphtheria, enteric fever, leprosy, measles,
plague, pulmonary tuberculosis, rabies, smallpox, and (b)
any other disease notified by the Government under this Act.
The KMC Act further states under “Section 345 Destruction
of stray pigs and dogs - If
any dogs not taxed under Section 118 or pigs are found straying,
the same may be summarily destroyed by any person authorized in
that behalf in writing by the Commissioner.”
KMC Act “Section 409 Prohibition against transfer of
infected articles” would apply to any dead dogs or parts thereof
(e.g. uteruses) removed by persons or NGOs undertaking ABC or dog
management, as at least one of them presently just throws their
dead dogs over the wall of their compound.
The predecessor of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, the
Corporation of the City of Bangalore, promulgated bye law No 25 by
notification bearing No A1(22) of 1952-53 dated 27.01.1954
regarding prevention of dangerous diseases in animals and
prevention of rabies under section 367 (28).
The said bye law provides the procedure to be followed by
the Municipal Corporation in confining and destroying dogs found
roaming in the City. These
bye-laws continue to be valid even now.
From the above, it is clear that the Karnataka Municipal
CorporatIon Act makes it obligatory on the Bangalore Mahanagara
Palike, the second Respondent herein, to detain or destroy the
stray dogs, a statutory obligation which they are presently
avoiding or abdicating. The
procedure prescribed under bye-law No 25 is to catch and confine
the dogs for a period of three days, at the end of which if the
dogs are not claimed by the owners, they are to be destroyed.
A similar obligation is cast on the CMC Respondent Nos 3-9
under The Karnataka Municipalities Act.
In addition, the Karnakata Police Act 1963, administered by
the first Respondent herein, also makes provision and authorizes
the Commissioner of Police of the City and the Superintendents of
Police in areas under their respective jurisdiction, to proclaim
in consultation with the local Health Officer or other prescribed
Office of the Department of Health that any [ownerless or
uncollared] dog, found during such period as may have been
prescribed in the said notice, wandering in the street or in
public places, may be destroyed.
All these provisions were made by the legislature in the
interest of the citizens who are entitled to lead a safe and
healthy life with dignity and peace.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was also
constrained to write to the Pune Municipal Corporation that the
corporation was under statutory obligation to destroy all stray
and collarless dogs. The
NHRC pointed out that “Human life should not be endangered in
such a way that the majority of the city’s (Pune’s) population
be traumatized in order to make a select few happy”.
The Government of India is similarly seized of the gravity
of the problem of stray dogs.
They set up the Animal Welfare Board in 1962 under the
Prevention of Cruelty Act 1960.
The main functions of the Board are, among others, “To
take all such steps as the Board may think fit to ensure that
unwanted animals are destroyed by local authorities, whenever
it is necessary to do so, either instantaneously or after being
rendered insensible to pain or suffering”.
There is voluminous literature available on painless
methods of euthanasia for dogs.
While the incidence of rabies is highest in Asia, mostly in
, over 50 countries world-wide are currently free of rabies.
“Most of the countries which are now either free of
rabies or have low incidence have become so mainly due to elimination
of stray dogs and vaccination of pet dogs.
Vaccination of stray dogs is unlikely to be effective
because of many practical reasons” (National Inst of Mental
Health & Neurosciences). Thus
it has been recognized worldwide that in cities which lack the
natural predators of dogs, such as leopards, it becomes
unavoidable for humans to limit stray dog populations.
WHO in 1998 documented the findings of an “Informal
Consultation on a Regional Strategy for Elimination of Rabies”
. It found that “64%
of rabies victims were due to bites by free roaming dogs”, of
which “45% are children less than 14 years of age.”
This Strategy Report commented that “The control of
rabies rests with the local civic bodies who, because of the
inadequate resources and ineffective strategy, have been unable to
make a dent in the rabies situation.”
Hence the need for Petitioners to seek the help of this
to make urban local bodies perform their statutory duty
effectively in order to protect the safety and lives of their
OF STRAY DOG
The Final Report of the Task Force on Health and Family
Welfare, Government of Karnataka, April 2001 described in para
5.4.7 “Rabies” the following problems:
“Lack of an
integrated approach to prevention of animal and human rabies.
agencies involved, but not coordinated.
from animal rights people who put obstacles to dog control,
but ignore the thousands of sheep being slaughtered for preparing
Under increasing pressure from animal rights activists,
Municipalities, including Bangalore, have progressively
abdicated or violated their statutory obligations by involving
animal-rights groups who have been granted funds and facilities to
take over the Municipalities’ obligatory duties, but without
requiring compliance with the relevant laws and without any fiscal
accountability or transparency or the civic bodies’ ensuring
that the desired results are obtained.
The KMC Act Section 58 (12) requires the temporary
detention and subsequent destruction of stray oand ownerless dogs.
Yet in Bangalore city, three animal-rights groups have been
given the use of the city’s three dog-catching vans, plus Rs 69
lakhs grant and land in Koramangala for a shelter, without at the
same time insisting that there shall be no release of any captured
contrast, the city’s budget for vaccination of dog-bite patients
and treatment of rabies victims is a mere Rs 15 lakhs a year.
There is often unavailability of adequate vaccine at
sufficient locations, and no compensation or reimbursement to
citizens for the misery and expense caused by the Municipalities’
failure to perform their statutory duties with regard to
confinement or destruction of stray dogs and preventing and
checking the spread of dangerous diseases.
The population control measures advocated by the animal
rights groups is Animal Birth Control, or ABC for short.
They advocate the catching, vaccination and sterilisation
of both male and female dogs, followed by their release into
[hopefully] the same area from which they were caught.
The theory is that properly-sterilized dogs will not breed,
and that thereby the stray dog population will come down.
This has not happened in practice, although ABC has been
for six years, since 1994.
The main argument put forward by animal rights activists
for a total ban on killing of
stray dogs is that several decades of this practice has not
reduced their “numbers”. This
distortion of statistics completely ignores the fact that our
urban populations have increased several-fold over the same
period, so naturally the population of stray dogs, rats,
cockroaches and everything else goes up in proportion to the food
and shelter availability in our increasingly dirty cities.
The other arguments sometimes put forward by
animal-activists in favour of retaining stray dogs on roads, are
that they reduce garbage and rat populations and prevent dacoities.
Petitioners submit that there are far less damaging ways of
accomplishing all these objectives than by putting the entire
citizenry at risk of fatal illnesses and physical and
psychological trauma and expense.
The animal rights groups have themselves projected a steep
DANGERS OF ONLY
Some animal rights activists claim that no stray dog need
be killed as a sterilization program alone will suffice to control
their numbers and by implication to reduce dog-bite incidents and
rabies. The ABC
program for stray dogs is particularly dangerous because they
never catch puppies of 9-12 weeks age (which incidentally are the
easiest to catch) which require their “priming dose”
vaccination at that correct age.
Puppies account for 40% of proven rabid animals.
ABC programs give
only one vaccination to an adult animal, which is largely
ineffective in the absence of the “priming dose” for puppies,
as is possible with pets. It
is very difficult to re-catch any dogs for annual re-vaccination,
let alone punctually for five years in a row, especially since
they become extra-wary of dog-catchers after one experience. Also,
since the ABC dogs’ ear markings cannot be seen from any
distance and do not indicate the dates of vaccination, no
scientific program can be ensured.
Thus the public is lulled by ABC proponents into a false
and potentially fatal belief that since street dogs have been “vaccinated”,
they will not transmit rabies.
Post-mortems on dogs at Veterinary College Hebbal have
found 50% of their autopsies to be positive for rabies.
Sterilisation of dogs results in a “hormonal imbalance.
This makes the dog highly irritable … and the tendency to
bite and chase increases.” The
observed birth of pups to ear-notched bitches supposedly
sterilized before release also raises questions of both veracity
Release of captured animals “in the same area from where
they were caught” is virtually impossible.
The inevitable release of stray dogs to strange
neighbourhoods also results in frightened and aggressive behaviour
and increased dog-bite cases.
It is cruel to throw such dogs at the mercy of
new surroundings, and also needlessly cruel to cut
and notch the ears of caught-and-released dogs to identify
Thus all three components of the ABC program:
vaccination, sterilisaton and return to the streets, have
serious ill effects exactly the opposite of the intended
objectives of reducing dog populations and dog-bites while being
kind to dogs. Any
civic body that relies only on ABC is putting its entire
population at needless risk.
Dogs have no natural predators, so their numbers increase
at an unbelievable rate. Even
assuming highly reduced numbers, or using the very conservative
population figures of the animal rights activists, and their
mortality and fertility-control rates, the numbers for projected
populations are truly alarming.
In contrast, the projections by the animal rights group
CUPA for the population decline of stray dog populations in
using ABC, from 140,000 dogs in 1994 to just 2,800 dogs by 1999,
quoted in the Proceedings of the 1st National Seminar
on Rabies in
are not even remotely achieved.
Reports submitted by the ABC proponents for procedures done
in Banglaore city show how inadequate these numbers are, let alone
any effective monitoring of procedures by BMP by an actual count
of uteruses and testicles removed and handed over to them for
The way that these escalating numbers of stray dogs on our
streets can be reduced is to capture and then either shelter or
eliminate them. There is tremendous simmering resentment among the
public about the misuse of funds to release stray dogs once they
are caught at considerable expense to tax-payers.
There is a feeling that if animal-lovers are so concerned
about the stray dogs’ welfare, they should either raise their
own funds for providing permanent
shelter or arrange for adoption of dogs that have once been
caught, itself a very difficult exercise.
They feel the general road-using public should not have to
bear the brunt of the animal-rights activists’ desire to see
strays on the street.
EXPERT OPINIONS ON
Doctors who have to cope helplessly with the agonies of
incurable rabies cases day in and day out, came together three
years ago to form an Association for Prevention and Control of
Rabies in India (APCRI). The
dangers and drawbacks of ABC described above, and its disastrous
consequences for the rabies scene in
, have provoked severe criticism of the ABC program because as a
result of ABC and strident animal-rights activism, increasingly
bordering on eco-terrorism, cities are totally abandoning any
judicious destruction of unwanted dogs to save precious human
The President’s message in their first APCRI Newsletter
said “Compassion and sympathy for dogs is unquestionable and is
dear to every human soul, but unleashing terror by the authorities
and the elite by promoting ABC programme and propagating stray dog
menace is a clear case of misplaced zeal for dogs at the expense
At their just-concluded 3rd National Conference
on Rabies on July 6-7 2001, the President’s address mentions
that “poor understanding of dog bite management and rabies
prevention .. has been further complicated and compounded by the
lobby of animal welfare activists and organizations who are
thrusting Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme for the large stray
dog population in urban municipal areas…. It is important that
we come out of this primitive mindset of misplaced sympathy for
stray dogs in the guise of animal welfare and at the expense of
human welfare and stop this social injustice of aggressively
promoting animal birth control programme.
The programme is implemented in a poor and unscientific way
and is responsible for wastage of public funds.”
These strong views of doctors and scientists closest to the
problem have to be juxtaposed against largely undocumented and
unsubstantiated claims of success by well-funded animal-rights
groups with a vested interest in continuance of ABC.
Petitioners seek the good sense and balanced judgment of
this Hon’ble Court in accepting the middle path and combined
strategies of destruction and sterilization as advocated by so
many of the experts cited below.
EXPERTS’ PROBLEM -
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD),
under the Union Government’s Directorate of Health Services,
reprinted a 1993 paper on Rabies
which recommends three important components of the Ministry
of Agriculture’s Canine Rabies Control Programme:
immunization of pet animals and their compulsory registration
of stray dogs by humane methods of destruction
health education to public to procure their cooperation in
fulfilling above mentioned components.”
Recently, on 5-9 March 2001 at the Fourth International
Symposium on Rabies Control in Asia, (co-sponsored by WHO), a
paper was presented by
Joy Leney of the World Society for the Protection of Animals,
London. It suggested,
among other measures like a legislative framework for control of
both owned and unowned dogs, appropriate garbage disposal and
neutering, that there should be “Government controlled dog
collection centers where animals can be assessed;
if found suitable for adoption, they can be vaccinated and
neutered. It is
recommended that diseased, aggressive and surplus dogs should be
put down humanely. “ Also,
that “in countries where there is a large population of stray
dogs and cats, it may be impractical and unreasonable to expect
governments to allocate sufficient funding and resources to
capture, vaccinate, neuter and release unwanted animals on a wide
WHO’s Regional Strategy for Elimination of Rabies under
(b) Control Activities, says these should involve:
- the animal reservoir
(mostly dogs) by paying attention to dog population management
(destruction, reproductive control)
as well as dog vaccination …
- humans by
ensuring pre-exposure treatment of personnel at high risk (dog
vaccinators, hospital personnel) and post-exposure treatment of
Dr N S Deodhar, Member of the Independent Commission on
Health in India in “A Plan for the control of dog-Bite and
Rabies in Pune City” has recommended
“Control and reduction of dog population [by] control of
habitat and access to food destruction and reproductive control of
further advises that “Until
such time efficacy of reproductive control of dog population is
demonstrated in Pune, the present practice of discriminate
destruction of dogs with a view to control human rabies infection
legal and miscellaneous aspects, the same article points out that
the Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Maharashtra
recommends (a) prophylactic vaccination of pet dogs,
of ownerless/stray dogs, and (c) post-bite vaccination to animals
bitten by dogs.
The NICD has on August 25th held a conference
to finalise new national guidelines for control of dog-bites and
is therefore advisable to:
Make Bangalore and its satellite municipal councils free of stray
dogs within a specified time-frame of two years,
Fulfil obligatory duties under the respective Acts for the
confinement or destruction of stray and ownerless dogs and for
preventing and checking the spread of dangerous diseases.
Consider the views of national experts on the subject and
the latest NICD guidelines, and to utilize a judicious combination
of destruction, sterilization, and removal of food sources in
order to achieve the above objectives,
Refrain from releasing again on city roads any ownerless stray dog
caught at the tax-payers’ expense, by encouraging adoption-centres
for captured strays at dog-lovers’ expense and destruction of
surplus dogs not accepted by them for placement within the
statutory three-day period.
Pass bye-laws and regulations requiring responsible ownership of
dogs, such as registration of pets and their timely immunization,
and a ban on deliberate street-feeding of ownerless strays by
those not prepared to give them shelter and keep them off the
Improve garbage management so as to remove all sources of
food for stray dogs from the streets, by complying with the
Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2000, by
removing all garbage bins and replacing them with door-to-door
waste collection and by immediate and direct transfer of garbage
into vehicles for secondary transport without its being accessible
to stray dogs on the road.
Require animal rights groups conducting ABC to strictly
comply with Central, State and City laws, viz. Biomedical Waste
(Management & Handling) Rules 1998 for disposal of removed
uteruses of neutered bitches; u/s 351 (1) and (2) of KMC Act 1976
to hand over dead dogs on payment to the BMP after taking
due precautions u/s 409; u/s 365 (1) and (2) of KMC Act 1976 to
get their premises inspected and seek annual licences for their
activities, and to protect, u/s 418, all their dog-handlers with
preventive treatment against the risk of rabies from dog-bites.
Make Rabies a Notifiable Disease in the State of Karnataka
u/s 2 (7) (b) of the Karnataka Municipalities Act 1964 (amended
Require BMP and the 7 CMCs to regularly inform and educate their
residents, especially slum-dwellers, about the dangers of playing
with stray puppies and the vital necessity of taking anti-rabies
treatment even for minor bites and scratches, especially those
Require all municipal and Government hospitals to also
stock and administer RIGs injections (CF) into deep dog-bites and
Provide financial compensation for medical expenses to all
victims of dog-bite by ownerless stray dogs u/s 87 (q) of the KM
Act 1964 and also compensate dog-bite victims for loss of income
or school-days if the CMC opts for release of captured strays and
avoids destruction to reduce their numbers.
All General Insurance Companies operating in the State of
Karnataka should promptly and fully compensate all claims for
anti-rabies inoculations for all those who have the good sense to
go for preventive treatment even for small dog-bites and scratches
from stray and ownerless dogs.
Require owners of pet dogs to keep their dogs leashed in
public places and to personally ensure and pay for
rabies-preventive vaccinations to anyone bitten or scratched by
Almitra H. Patel
Member, Supreme Court Committee for Solid Waste
Vinay's views on
Someone from an
animal-related NGO felt that I should also state my views
regarding stray dogs. So here they are.
I normally refrain from
taking a position (even in my own thoughts) until I really have
to (as is the case now) as I feel I will not remain receptive
to all the viewpoints thereafter. Also I found that when I voice
my thoughts, then those opposed to it, tend to leave the yahoo
group or fall silent, which is contrary to what any of us wants
happening in this public forum.
Anyway, I am trying to
think through my views on stray dogs as I write this email.
(to stray dogs, pets, any animal for that matter):
- I don't feel the urge to
pet an animal. I am also a little worried of unpredictable
behaviour. If I am walking past a dog, I would look at it
to be prepared for unpredictable behaviour.
- My wife is very scared
of animals. She can't recall any incident to justify it. If she
is walking and spots a dog, she would widen the distance as much
- Our daughter loves
animals. She finds stray dogs cute. If she is walking and spots
a stray dog, she will go to pet it. She is the type who would reach
into the kangaroo's pouch to pet a joey (she actually did that
in Australia as we watched petrified.) A career with the likes
of Animal Planet and she will be in seventh heaven so
if anyone has any contacts so that she can visit, please put us
So based on an emotional
reaction, my decision would be wrong.
(to dogs - strays or otherwise):
So long as stray dogs
don't keep me awake at night (which they rarely do in my area),
don't hurt anyone I know personally (which they haven't), or
kill anyone (which however did happen as reported by Stree Mukti
Sangathan), I am pro stray dogs.
Given my nature, I am sure
if this changes, I would rather not have them around. (In small
towns, I have often wondered how people manage any sleep at
reaction (to dogs or any animals):
I wouldn't be for killing
reaction (to stray dogs):
I had asked this in an
earlier email. There are about 2 lakh stray dogs in Mumbai. What
would be the problems if the number becomes 5 lakh dogs or some
such high number? Is it possible that by effective
sterilisation, numbers may stabilise at some acceptable
level? Or, in fact, keep on decreasing? What problems would
arise if the numbers were to decrease? Is there an eco-balance
based around dogs? Is sterilisation the only solution?
What would happen if BMC
were to succeed with a zero-garbage plan? Where would stray
dogs get their food from? Would stray dogs get adopted as
community pets? What would happen to those who don't? Would they
move out on their own? Or would they become aggressive and hurt
people and then some forcible action be have to be taken against
I am more of a conceptual
type and would thus get biased in favour of the results of
studies / hypotheses that may be carried out regarding such
questions. Of course who would do such an analysis is a
moot question. Animal-welfare orgs will certainly not as it will
only dilute the current situation. Any other group will not
because there is no motivation for them to do so. The
government will not because why should they care? They don't
even care to re-deploy the 140 people who were connected with
this department who have no work and earn regular salaries while
sitting absolutely idle.
So what is likely to
happen is that some more kids will be killed and then someone
will approach the Supreme Court again and the law will get
modified. An unfortunate approach of using / misusing the
legal system that society seems to be having to take.
The approach I
think is worthwhile to pursue:
One of the responses in
the yahoo group had suggested to form a group with those
who value animal rights, along with those who understand civic
rights, and those who have deep environmental perspectives. Such
a group aided by those who can help in elaborating what-if
scenarios would be a good starting point for society to agree to
a solution. (But again, who would initiate such a group?)
I would be most
comfortable with this approach and the recommendations emanating
out of such an approach. My individual opinion to society's
problems does not matter to me.
Thanks for the opportunity
to clarify my own thoughts to myself and the patient reading.
Responses would be valued.