Stray dogs have the right to food and citizens right to feed them: Delhi High Court


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Feeding stray dogs often leads to quarrels between neighbours. One such fight has resulted in the canines having the last laugh, or bark if you prefer, as the Delhi High Court has upheld their right to food.

Citizens have the right to feed community canines, Justice J R Midha ruled on Thursday, but at the same time observed that in exercising this right, care and caution is must to ensure that no nuisance, harm or harassment is caused to others.

Laying down guidelines on feeding of street dogs, the high court said any person having compassion for stray dogs can feed them at their private entrance or driveway of their house or any other place not shared with other residents.

No one can restrict the others from feeding dogs until and unless it is causing harm or harassment to them, it added.

Community dogs have to be fed at areas designated by the Animal Welfare Board of India in consultation with resident welfare associations or municipal corporations, the court said.

To implement the guidelines, the court formed a committee comprising the director of Animal Husbandry Department or his nominee, senior officers of all municipal corporations and Delhi Cantonment Board and certain advocates.

It was directed to hold its first meeting within four weeks.

The order came in a case of dispute between two residents of a locality. One of them had sought direction to restrain the other from feeding street dogs near the entrance of a property.

Animals had a right under law to be treated with compassion, respect and dignity and it was the moral responsibility of each and every citizen to protect them, it added.

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