In what could further intensify the human-dog relationship debate, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has asked civic authorities in the city to take strict action against any person found feeding strays in public places.
Passing a slew of measures to tackle the stray dog menace, the high court said that the people who are interested in feeding stray dogs must first formally adopt them and feed them inside their homes.
A division bench of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Anil Pansare issued the instructions on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activist Vijay Talewar. The plea was filed against the dog menace in the city in 2006.
The court directed the commissioner of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to levy a financial penalty of not more than Rs 200 on the people who feed dogs in public places.
The “real charity lies in taking complete care and not just feeding and then leaving poor creatures to fend for themselves”, the bench said.
“We direct in general that no citizen and no resident of Nagpur and areas surrounding it shall feed or make any attempt to feed the stray dogs in public places, gardens,” it reportedly said.
“If any person is interested in feeding stray dogs, he shall first adopt the stray dog/bitch, bring it to home, register it with municipal authorities or put it in some dog shelter home and then showering his love and affection on it, may feed it while taking it’s personal care in all respect.”
In a set of instructions, the court said that public awareness campaigns should be launched to educate people about their duties and responsibilities under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.
It also directed the civic body commissioner to consider identifying a suitable plot of land for a shelter home for stray dogs.