The Karnataka Animal Welfare Board on 31/12/2022 issued the following Guidelines regarding Feeding of street animals and Conflict Resolution.
With regards to the conflict between dog feeders/carers and the community, the observations of the Delhi High Court [Dr. Maya D Chablani vs. Radha Mittal & Ors, I.A. No. 4164 of 2021] are adopted: Animals have a right to be treated with compassion, respect and dignity.
Animals are sentient creatures with an intrinsic value. Therefore, the protection of such beings is the moral responsibility of every citizen, including the government and non-government organizations. We have to show compassion towards all living creatures. Animals may be mute but we as a society have to speak on their behalf. No pain or agony should be caused to the animals. Cruelty to animals causes psychological pain to them.
Animals breathe like us and have emotions. The animals require food, water, shelter, normal behavior, medical care and self-determination. Community dogs (stray/street dogs) have the right to food and citizens have the right to feed community dogs but in exercising this right, care and caution should be taken to ensure that it does not impinge upon the rights of others or cause any harm, hindrance, harassment, and nuisance to other individuals or members of the society.
In addition to the above observations of the Hon’ble Delhi HC, we quote the AWBI: that Street Animal Feeders are performing an act of compassion under Article 51A(g),(h) of the Constitution of India. We quote, also, the Hon’ble PM of India, in his 79th Mann ki Baat, where he praised Street Animal Feeders for performing an important social service to their communities. In light of the above judgements, in addition to the Circular No AHF AHP 2015 (P-1) issued by AHVS Department, the guidelines are attached herewith.
Guidelines regarding Feeding of street animals
1. Street dogs play a significant role in our community. They act as guard dogs for their territories, provide companionship to their carers, act as community scavengers and also control rodent populations in the area, thus preventing the spread of diseases like Leptospirosis. All citizens must be compassionate towards animals.
2. No one is permitted to hurt, harm, relocate, remove, or kill any street dogs, or hire anyone else for the same. Doing so will amount to criminal offenses punishable by law.
3. It is the responsibility of the residents to ensure that all dogs in their locality are sterilized and regularly vaccinated by the local authority.
4. The District Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) shall ensure that all RWAs have an Animal Welfare Committee, which shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the PCA Act, and ensuring harmony and ease of communication between caregivers, feeders, or animal lovers and other residents.
5. No RWA/society/individual can restrict any compassionate community member from feeding or caring for street animals. In case of any conflict, the RWA shall designate feeding points away from the public, but within the territories of the dogs. Feeders are advised to clean any remaining food after feeding to avoid attracting rodents and other pests.
6. Should any RWA seek to intimidate or harass feeders or introduce unlawful bye-laws to do so, then the State/District Registrars, upon receiving complaints and evidence, shall de-register such RWAs. 7. If a particular community does not have any feeders, it shall be the responsibility of the RWA to ensure that every street animal has access to food and water. In the absence of an RWA, this duty shall fall upon the local authority.
1. If anyone has a grievance about any act of caregivers/feeders, about feeding of community dogs, they must engage in dialogue and discussion through the Animal Welfare Committee. If this does not solve the issue, the RWA may bring the grievance to the notice of the DSPCA, which shall ensure expeditious resolution of the issues.
2. The local authority must conduct regular educational programs for the public, including guidance on how to interact with animals and what to do when approached by dogs, particularly those that show signs of fear and/or aggression.
3. The DSPCA must carry out programs to spread awareness about every animal having the right to live with respect and dignity. This message must be spread through various Newspapers, Television, Radio Channels and Social Media platforms.