Court asks BBMP how it will control the menace

The Karnataka High Court on Friday asked the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to file an affidavit on how it is going to contain the menace of healthy but feral dogs that attack people, including children.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna issued the direction during the hearing of a batch of public interest litigation (PILs) petitions, filed since 2007, complaining about stray dog menace in the city.

During the hearing, various NGOs engaged in animal birth control (ABC) programmes said they had no objection to containing the menace in a humane manner. Their counsel pointed out that ABC norms and BBMP’s powers under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act 1976 to eliminate strays should be harmonious.

On the other hand, counsel for the petitioners said some NGOs pose hurdles whenever the BBMP takes up a drive to catch strays, leading to citizens suffering.

At this juncture, the court said that while the ABC programme would control the numbers and rabid dogs would be eliminated as per the procedure, it asked how to contain healthy but feral dogs. BBMP’s Joint Director (Animal Husbandry) Parvez Ahmad Piran informed the bench 90 per cent of dog bites were caused by provocation and parents have to contain children. He said feeding dogs in places like Cubbon Park is also an issue while pointing out that Justice M.F. Saldanha, former High Court judge, objected to measures initiated to prevent people feeding animals here. However, the Bench said the BBMP still needs to answer its question about ferocious strays and adjourned the hearing.

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