Taking a serious note of the menace of stray dogs and threat of dog bites, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the concerned authorities of all states to carry out the sterilisation and vaccination of dogs wherever required.
“We direct that the dogs which are required to be sterilised or vaccinated, the procedure shall be carried out in accordance with the (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Act and Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said.
“No organisation shall create any kind of obstacle or impediment in the same,” the bench said, directing the Animal Welfare Board “to oversee that this is being carried out and no obstructions are created in this regard from any quarter”.
As per law, if the local authority thinks it expedient to control street dog population, it can sterilise and immunise street dogs, with the participation of animal welfare organisations, private individuals and the local authority.
The bench said it was necessary that existing laws are implemented so that “compassion to animals and the healthy existence of human beings are seemly balanced”.
The court took note of the contention raised by senior advocate Dushyant A Dave, amicus curiae in the case, that although the law provides for sterilisation, it was not done either for lack of funds or due to apathy.
It directed the chief secretary of each state to submit a report on the implementation of the laws to prevent stray dog menace.
The report should also indicate the number of deaths due to dog bites and the steps taken. The bench also added that it must indicate the number of incidents of sterilisation and the resources available on the said front.
It further directed the Animal Welfare Board to develop a module in view of the existing laws and reports submitted by the chief secretaries.
The Supreme Court was considering several petitions, including one challenging the Kerala high court’s orders directing mass culling of stray dogs.