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Explained: The stray dog menace and what is the solution

Explained: The stray dog menace and what is the solution

Explained: The stray dog menace and what is the solution
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By Anand Singha   | Ashmit Kumar  Nov 19, 2022 1:01 PM IST (Published)

Should certain dog breeds be prohibited? Is pet registration requisite? Are animals at risk of being confiscated? Can you feed stray dogs in public areas? Can municipal organisations round up stray dogs? In a conversation with experts for CNBC-TV18, Ashmit Kumar looks for clarification on the viability of these policies in the future.

Amid an increase in the reports of attacks on locals by pet dogs, civic bodies in cities near Delhi including Gurugram, Noida, and Ghaziabad have been compelled by authorities to take action and combat the upsurge in these attacks. While the municipalities of Gurugram and Ghaziabad have already outlawed a number of dog breeds, Noida has published a list of measures that would be followed in the event that a pet dog creates problems, including a Rs 10,000 fine.

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Should certain dog breeds be prohibited? Is pet registration requisite? Are animals at risk of being confiscated?  Can you feed stray dogs in public areas? Can municipal organisations round up stray dogs?  In a conversation with experts for CNBC-TV18, Ashmit Kumar looks for clarification on the viability of these policies in the future.
The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum had earlier ordered the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) to ban 11 foreign breeds due to the recent spate of dog attacks. The corporation has also been instructed by the court to revoke any registrations for such prohibited dog breeds and to confiscate them.
What some have referred to as extreme measures are behind the most recent trigger-generating headlines.
Despite acknowledging that some of the Gurgaon Municipal Corporation's initiatives are feasible in light of the most recent attacks, Radhika from Peta India pointed out that they had otherwise entirely misinterpreted the situation.
She backed and advocated for the outlawing and banning of aggressive dog breeds like pitbulls, which are primarily bred as fighting dogs and are naturally aggressive. She emphasised, however, that obligatory registration and sterilisation, rather than the confiscation of already-owned dogs, are the only ways to achieve this.
Robin Singh, Co Founder of Peepal Farm, however, disagreed with several of the regulations, arguing that muzzling dogs is not recommended and not necessary. "It's not a terrible thing to register since someone needs to be held accountable. Dogs should be registered, just like marriage and childbirth. However, a blanket ban on breeding is not the answer; sterilisation and adoption will have a much greater impact. Nevertheless, he pointed out that it should be restricted to breed in an overpopulated nation."
What are these regulations?
The commission also issued instructions to the Gurgaon civic body mandating registration of pet dogs, laws requiring that one family keep one dog, also that dog's mouth be covered in public by a net cap or muzzle, and requiring that every registered dog wear a collar to which a metal token and a metal chain should be attached.
The commission has also approved an interim compensation of Rs 2 lakh for a lady who suffered injuries in August after being bitten by a pet dog in Gurgaon. It directed the MCG to take all stray dogs in its custody and keep them in dog ponds.
Dog breeds banned in Gurugram
American Pit-bull terriers
Dogo Argentino
Rottweiler
Neapolitan mastiff
Boerboel
Presa Canario
Wolf dog
Bandog
American Bulldog
Fila Brasileiro
Cane Corso
A similar prohibition on the ownership of Pit Bull, Rottweiler, and Dogo Argentino breeds as pets has been enacted by the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) as well.
"The three breeds - Pit Bull, Rottweiler and Dogo Argentino - are ferocious, and no permission will be granted to keep these dogs. No licence will be issued. If somebody buys one of these, he/she will be responsible. All these three breeds have been banned in Ghaziabad," BJP leader and GMC councillor Sanjay Singh told PTI.
A new pet regulation in Noida mandates that if a person is bitten by a pet dog, the owner would be responsible for paying for the victim's medical expenses as well as a fine of Rs 10,000 rupees. Additionally, the government has stipulated that all pet dogs undergo rabies vaccinations. Failing to do so, pet parents will have to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 every month.
Numerous breeds cannot all be placed into one category
Vikram Hedge, Advocate on Record, Surpeme Court, while addressing the issue, questioned the jurisdiction the consumer district forum had to impose these regulations for pet dogs, "Without getting into right and wrong, the consumer forum did overstep its mandate. In that respect, handling people disputes is not their responsibility."
"Delhi already has legislation requiring dog registration. But that does not imply that it is always adhered to. Let's take another look at it. You need an army of enforcers in addition to the fact that there are numerous breeds that cannot all be placed into one category," he informed.
This is not a threat, according to Robin; rather, it is a single instance that was exaggerated. He used the comparison that fines and penalties for irresponsibility are instead applied in place of automobile bans following a single accident.
"Dog maltreatment should also be punished with fines. Even if regulations are implemented, they should be behavior-specific rather than breed-specific. The biggest issue with India is that there are no laws governing how to handle hostile animals. This overreaction is the result of lack of adequate guidelines for dealing with aggressive animals. Without labelling one breed as banned, one must examine the situations case by case."
Radhika, on the other hand, is of the opinion that breed-specific legislation is necessary, particularly for hounds of the Pitbull sort. "Allowing the sale of Pitbulls entails approving unlawful dog fighting. In India, breeders are eager to make a profit by selling dogs."
She asserted that when it comes to dogs, friendly, sociable, and good-natured canines won't attack a human if they aren't provoked. "Only when people are aggressive toward stray dogs do they feel defensive. That is something that we categorically oppose," she added.
Adopt. Don't  breed.
An excellent proposal was made previously by the Aam Aadmi Party. The party argued that breeding should not be permitted and instead supported the "Be Indian, Adopt Indian" campaign, which implores people to adopt Indian dog breeds. "Let's encourage dog lovers to embrace Indie breeds. People can take up stray breeds instead of chasing exotic species."
Saurabh Bharadwaj, the chief spokesperson for the AAP, said, "It's not as if we have any problems with dogs of foreign breeds. The people are free to adopt and take care of them as well,"
"But since we are Indians and we have a great variety of dogs of Indian breed, we would urge people to take care of them as well," he continued by saying that the AAP was launching the campaign on their grounds. "Once we come to power at the MCD, we will initiate this campaign at a bigger level and collaborate with NGOs and find solutions to the problems of all the stray animals in Delhi," Bharadwaj added.
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