Palike's U-turn on plan to curb dog menace

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has presented contradictory views on the animal birth control (ABC) programmes in its affidavits filed before the Supreme Court of India and the High Court of Karnataka.

During a hearing in the High Court on a batch of petitions seeking measures to check the stray dog menace on Thursday, Puttige Ramesh, one of the counsels, said that the affidavit filed by the Palike in the High Court contradicted its own views in an earlier affidavit in the Supreme Court.

The Palike filed an affidavit in the apex court on August 2, 2011, seeking to implead it in a special leave petition. The Palike termed the ABC programmes a failure, as they could cover only 15 per cent of the stray dog population despite spending Rs 11 crore since the last decade.

The ABC rules are neither scientific nor holistic, the Palike told the apex court. They were framed by the Ministry of Culture in violation of clause III, II (i) and (j) of Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1962, which prohibits any person from abandoning an animal in any circumstances which renders it likely that it will suffer pain by starvation or thirst, the affidavit said.

“ABC Rules 2000, override provision of PCA Act 1960, which is in conflict with PCA Act 1960 or State law, namely Section 345 of Karnataka Municipal Act 1976. Ministry of Culture has no knowledge, experience or expertise in prevention of rabies , protection of human health or prevention of cruelty to animals as to qualify it to frame the said rules without consultation with ministry of health,” the affidavit stated.

However, in a recent affidavit filed by Dr Parvez Ahmed Peeran on February 1, 2012, the Palike stated that dogs in the habit of snapping of children or people are habitual biters, ferocious and with an unpredictable temperament.

They will be isolated and observed for ten days, during which they will be handled by animal welfare organisations and behavioural therapist. If there is no change in behaviour, it will have to be evaluated by government veterinarian and humanely put the dogs to sleep by using sodium pentothal or any other method prescribed by the animal welfare board  in the interest of public safety.

Peeran also stated that the deaths of human beings and dogs have decreased over the years due to effective implementation of ABC and anti-rabies vaccine programmes.  

On Thursday, the High Court Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna, directed the Palike to file a fresh affidavit. The Division Bench was hearing a batch of petitions, including the one filed by Jishnu, a six-year-old dog bite victim.

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