The issue of stray dogs has always been a divisive one. While animal lovers and dog feeders argue that taking care of and feeding them is the most compassionate thing to do, others argue that such acts result in the explosion of stray populations and increasing threats to humans.

These differences in opinions have resulted in many ugly confrontations, with dog feeders being physically abused and ostracised by others for taking care of the strays.


AWBI advisory on feeding stray dogs

Amid the recent increase in the number of such incidents, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued advisories asking resident welfare associations (RWAs) and citizens not to take any adverse action against the feeders of dogs.

The resident welfare association also cannot deny feeding dogs or creating feeding spots in those areas where these dogs reside.

“The RWAs cannot deny feeding of dogs or creation of feeding spots in those areas where these dogs are residing. The animal feeders/ caregivers are feeding these animals from their own resources and out of compassion. The Constitution of India has allowed the citizens of India to do so under 51A (g). Therefore, the feeder cannot be prevented from feeding the animals or care giving following the AWBI advisories,” the advisory said.


Focus on vaccination and animal birth control 

The Ministry said Central Government has framed the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rule, 2001, which is to be implemented by the local authority to control the population of stray dogs. 

The main focus of the rules is on anti-rabies vaccination of stray dogs and neutering of stray dogs as means of population stabilization, it said, adding that Municipal Corporations need to implement the Animal Birth Control and Anti Rabies Program jointly.

No relocation of stray dogs

The advisory said that it has been noticed that there is a lack of proper implementation of Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules by the Municipal Corporation and Local Bodies. Instead, attempts are made to relocate dogs from urban areas. In various orders, the Supreme Court has mentioned that dogs’ relocation cannot be permitted.


SC order on feeding stray dogs

Last month the Supreme Court stayed an observation made by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court, which said that those feeding stray dogs should adopt them.

The SC bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice JK Maheshwari also directed that no coercive steps should be taken against those feeding street dogs. 

During the hearing, the Animal Welfare Board of India also told the SC that if these stray dogs are not fed, they will become more aggressive. 

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