| Observations on the High Court order
pertaining to Stray Dogs
Below are my observations and thoughts
(clause by clause) as I read the High Court Order of 1998 pertaining
to Stray Dogs.
I would be very much interested in knowing
your views. Thanks. Vinay
At the outset, I would like to state
that I am not in favour of killing animals. I do, however, believe
that vicious dogs need to be dealt with e.g. maybe by shifting them
to some other location after due treatment.
1. The order seems to be more like a
'consent decree' rather than a 'judgement'. It appears that an Animal
Welfare Org (AWO) filed a petition against BMC against the killing
of dogs. The AWOs then gave a set of guidelines. BMC was happy to
accept that as it greatly reduced their responsibilities. The Court
was happy to accept it as the two opposing parties had agreed amongst
themselves. It is not clear who are respondents 2 to 5. It is strange
that non-AWO Citizen Groups were not included.
2 I. What are the AWBI guidelines? Can
someone please email them or give a website link?
2 II. One objective that is missing
is to deal with vicious dogs. That is a continuing short-sightedness
of AWOs. Or are they stating that dogs are only vicious if unsterilised?
2 III a. What are the Municipal /
State Laws pertaining to pet dogs? Can someone please email them
or give a website link?
2 III b. It is to be noted that active
participation of other AWOs and private individuals is sought and
that adequate financial and infrastructural support of MCGM will
2 IV. Can someone pl email me the names
of the contact persons along with their phone numbers and email
ids and website details, if any, of all the 14 members of the Monitoring
Committee? It seems strange that such a list is not available anywhere
on the internet.
2 V b. It seems difficult to expect
only one veterinarian to decide which dogs need to be put to sleep
for the large dog population that Mumbai has.
2 V a, c, d, e. How does one obtain
what the Committee has recommended / done on these issues?
2 VI. a. How many dog vans is MCGM providing?
2 VI. e. It seems strange that only
one ambulance-cum-clinical van is needed.
2 VI. g. What is the amount being given
to NGOs for each sterilisation / immunisation?
2 VII 1) a. Which is this Cell where
citizens have to lodge their complaints?
2 VII 1) b) a). Where is the register
of complaints kept? What are the statistics?
2 VII 1) b) b). What is the time-table
for covering the city zone-wise? What has been the actual performance?
2 VII 2) 3). Where is the register of
dogs captured? What are the statistics?
2 VII 2) 5). Are public announcements
made during dog capture? Are residents being educated? How is their
support being sought?
2 VII 2) 6) - 10). Are these being done
to the satisfaction of the Monitoring Committee and AWOs?
2 VIII. Can just 5 NGOs really expect
to sterilise all the dogs in the city faster than they
breed? It seems difficult to fathom such a recommendation being
made and being accepted. Why is there no provision for capacity
creation amongst NGOs or even commercial orgs or BMC? Even
more strange is that BMC does not have to do sterilisation.
2 XIII 2. Are quarterly progress reports
being published in newspapers? What are the statistics?
2. XIII 3. Why a Public Awareness /
Education Campaign was / is not planned / incorporated in these
2 XIV. Have these guidelines been revised?
Can someone give details? It is ironic that we had to get the copy
of the order itself from Pune when all AWOs are members of the Karmayog
Yahoo Group since long.
2. XV. What are the targets? What have
been the difficulties in the implementation? Have these difficulties
been resolved? If not, has the High Court been approached again?
If not, why not?
I am quite disappointed by the Guidelines
suggested by the AWOs and also by the functioning of the AWOs themselves.
There is a clear mismatch between the
capacity of AWOs and the size of both the city and its stray dog
The infrastructural facilities that
are sought also seem quite inadequate.
There seems to be no desire to formally
educate children or adults about the various aspects of stray dogs.
The entire operation seems to be shrouded
Consequently, the population of stray
dogs is increasing, along with the nuisance of barking, and the
menace of biting. Lay citizens naturally suggest removal or killing
of stray dogs, and this puts AWOs on the defensive. Various viewpoints
are not shared and discussed. AWOs often assume that a person is
either an animal lover or an animal hater. While the reality is
that a vast majority are either indifferent or want to behave as
responsible citizens and responsible human beings caring for nature
and the environment.
With that objective, it is time a new
BMC - Civil Society Committee on Stray Dogs be set up.
If you are interested in being involved,
please respond. Please also email your thoughts on the above or
any other aspect of the High Court Order, etc.