Pune: Bombay High Court To Hear Challenge Against Animal Birth Control Rules Aimed At Stray Dog Protection

Bombay High Court

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Pune, 9th November 2023: The constitutional validity of the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2023, aimed at safeguarding stray dogs, is set to be challenged in a Bombay High Court. A petition challenging these rules is scheduled to be filed, with the initial hearing expected on December 23.

The petitioner, Adv Satya Muley, has indicated that if needed, an appeal may also be lodged in the Supreme Court.

In the city, stray dogs have become a concern not only during the night but also in broad daylight, posing problems for motorists and pedestrians. Despite numerous complaints lodged with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), citizens allege that no effective action has been taken. The Animal Birth Control Rules 2023, which offer protection to stray dogs, are perceived as onerous and are anticipated to adversely affect the general public. Adv Muley asserts that this legal challenge is warranted.

The residents of Pune City are grappling with the issue of stray dogs, which has created an atmosphere of fear due to attacks on children, women, senior citizens, and bikers. In 2022, the city witnessed over 16,500 dog bite incidents, highlighting the gravity of the situation. Concerned citizens are demanding that the PMC urgently address this public issue and find a resolution.

The problem of stray dogs within the municipal limits continues to afflict citizens, with residents feeling terrorized as these dogs chase bikers and pose a risk to public safety, particularly during the nighttime.

The Central Government has issued the Animal Birth Control Rules 2023, which align with guidelines set forth by the Supreme Court in response to a petition involving the Animal Welfare Board of India and People for Elimination of Stray Troubles. The Supreme Court has ruled in various orders that the unchecked proliferation of animals, particularly dogs, cannot be permitted.

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The rules stipulate that animal birth control programs, which include sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs, are to be carried out by local bodies, municipalities, municipal corporations, and panchayats. Municipalities are mandated to jointly implement animal birth control and anti-rabies initiatives, which must be executed by recognized institutions. A list of such organizations is accessible on the website of the Animal Welfare Board of India. The central government has already issued communications to the chief secretaries of all states, animal husbandry departments, and principal secretaries of urban development departments.

However, the Animal Birth Control Act 2023 is seen as imposing challenging conditions on citizens, which could lead to difficulties in the future. This situation has created two distinct groups: animal lovers and those who suffer from the issues caused by stray dogs. In cases of trouble or accidents caused by stray dogs, dog lovers often file complaints against the individuals affected, creating a need to consider the perspectives of all parties involved.