Govt withdraws pet dog licensing bylaws

Govt withdraws pet dog licensing bylaws

Citizens had run a campaign entitled #NotWithoutMyDog to oppose the BBMP bylaws. DH FILE PHOTO

The state government informed the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday that it has withdrawn the BBMP (pet dog licensing) bylaws, 2018, following opposition from animal lovers. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna Dixit disposed of the petition filed by Indira Gopal Krishna, a resident of Sadanandanagar, NGEF (East), and others against the government notification on bylaws that mandated registration and licensing of pets. 

The Urban Development Department issued a notification, withdrawing the bylaws that were notified on February 28.

The bench asked the petitioners to give suggestions to the state government and the BBMP about their concerns over the bylaws. It also sought to know whether the petitioners were concerned only with the bylaws or overall animal welfare. 

The court asked the petitioners as to what was their contribution to society and what steps they were taking to address problems like the relocation of stray dogs. 

The court orally observed that the BBMP cannot take a unilateral decision and that it has to be a collaborative effort between animal welfare organisations, activists and the authorities

The court also orally observed that in a city like Bengaluru where the majority of people live in apartments, there should be some mechanism to strike a balance between having pets and not causing inconvenience to other inhabitants. 

The court further observed that merely reissuing the bylaws will not serve the purpose. All the stakeholders have to work constructively to address the larger concerns.

Activists, pet parents and animal lovers welcomed the withdrawal of pet licensing bylaws. 

Suparna Ganguly, founding trustee, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), said: “We are pleased that the judiciary has recognised our work with regard to conducting ABC (animal birth control) programmes while passing its judgment. We hope that the BBMP addresses bigger issues such as illegal breeding, compulsory vaccination and sterilisation of pet dogs in the city.”