Act does not allow culling of dogs: former commissioner

August 10, 2014 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - MANGALORE:

Mangalore South MLA J.R. Lobo said here on Saturday it is difficult for Mangalore City Corporation to kill dogs biting people as demanded by a section of the public. The corporation cannot do it in view of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act that overrides power vested to it under the Karnataka Municipality Act.

Mr. Lobo, who was earlier corporation commissioner, said that the corporation has power to kill animals that endanger lives of people. “But the killing here has to be of the one particular dog and not a pack of dogs. Provisions under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act come in the way of taking action against stray dogs that attack human beings,” he said.

Mr. Lobo said that as commissioner he did initiate action to kill dogs that attacked human beings in some localities in 2001. When the action continued in 2002, Mr. Lobo said, he received call from Maneka Gandhi (now a Union Minister) asking him to stop the drive or face legal action. “I had to stop that drive,” Mr. Lobo said and added that no official will go ahead with killing of problematic stray dogs fearing action. When the corporation takes up a drive to kill problematic stray dogs, there are agitations questioning such action.

The city corporation was not the only municipal body facing difficulty in taking effective action. “The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has also faced this problem,” Mr. Lobo said and added that the life of a human being has to overweigh concerns expressed over killing of dogs. “But this requires changes in statue that can only be brought by a strong peoples’ movement,” he said.

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