Calling for a debate on the human rights versus animal rights issue, the National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to Delhi government and Union Health ministry in the wake of a recent fatal attack on a seven-year-old boy by a pack of street dogs in the city.
Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on the stray dog menace, the commission has called for a wider debate by the civil society on pitting human rights against animal rights "in a situation where human lives are at risk due to attack by animals".
"It looks like a 'Human Rights' versus 'Animal Rights' battle. This is not a problem of Delhi alone. The commission has come across similar incidents in several other parts of the country," a statement said.
Delhi chief secretary and Union health ministry secretary have been given four weeks to ascertain their views on the issue, as well as on the specific August 4 incident at Jamia Nagar in south Delhi in which the boy was killed.
"Prima facie, it is of the view that human rights should weigh above animal rights in a situation where human lives are at risk due to attack by animals. However, this calls for a debate by the civil society," the NHRC said.
"The commission's observations have also come in the light of another media report exposing the futile efforts made by the municipal corporations of Delhi to deal with the menace of stray dogs," the statement added.