The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted approval to new guidelines prepared by Animal Welfare Board of India for feeding stray dogs in the Capital.
The guidelines say that stray dogs should be fed at places which are not frequented or less frequented and sparingly used by the general public.
The other features of the guidelines are: dogs should not be herded at a particular spot for the purpose of feeding; public causeways, public streets, pedestrian paths and footpaths are to be avoided; common/public area immediately abutting the entrance to flats/houses must be avoided; feeding should be undertaken at a time when the density of human population is minimal; feeding should be undertaken more than twice a day and in an hygienic manner.
The Court had last year directed the Animal Welfare Board to designate places in different localities in the city where animal lovers could feed these dogs without being harassed by the residents.
Holding that feeding stray dogs is both lawful and helpful, Justice Jain had also directed the Delhi Police to give protection to animal lovers who wanted to feed stray dogs. “Feeding dogs makes them friendly and easier to handle, and citizens are free to feed dogs in areas to be decided by the Animal Welfare Board,’’ Justice Jain had said.
The Court had passed the order on a bunch of petitions by the Capital’s animal lovers seeking protection to feed stray dogs.
The petitioners had approached the Court after they were harassed and threatened by the residents of their colonies for giving food to stray dogs.
The common argument of the petitioners was that it was their statutory right to feed stray dogs under the Central regulations and rules for taking care of animals. They had further argued that taking care of stray dogs would facilitate their vaccination and sterilisation which would keep them healthy and control their population.
It was also their Constitutional duty to show compassion to animals, counsel for the petitioners had submitted.