Q. Can an RWA/Society or any individual remove or have removed dogs from a colony and throw them away anywhere?
A. Under the GOI Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 and the municipal sterilization programme, no sterilized or any other dog can be relocated from their area. As per five different High Court orders, sterilized dogs have to remain in their original areas. If a dog is not sterilized, the residents can simply approach an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog. They cannot relocate him. Relocation is not permissible as it would cause more problems such as an increase in dog bites with new dogs that are unfamiliar with residents and therefore more likely to be hostile, moving into the area.
The Government of India has issued a Circular DY No. 1237, dated 30-9-2006, specifically directing all RWAs and any other recognized citizens' associations as follows:
- As per section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, beating, kicking, overriding, overloading, over-driving, torturing or otherwise treating any animals so as to subject it to unnecessary pain amounts to cruelty on animals. And whoever indulges in an act of cruelty to animals makes himself liable for action under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
- There are designated agencies in Government/local selfgovernment organizations that are authorized to deal with stray animals. Such organizations regularly undertake inoculations, sterilization of animals and other programmes.
- Recognized Associations may approach such institutions for redressal of their grievances if any, with regard to stray animals. Unrecognized associations may also approach such bodies with their grievances, but they should not pretend to represent the residents in general. . All problems of stray animals have to be handled within the institutional framework available. No association, recognized or unrecognized, shall take recourse to any action regarding stray animals on their own, either themselves or through any person employed by them like security guards.
- Where there is no recognized association, residents may take up grievances through the AWO/Office of the CWO.
- While residents and Associations are free to address institutional agencies for redressal of grievances in this matter, no resident/ association will interfere with the freedom of other residents in caring and attending animals. Intimidating in any manner, those who feed and care for animals is a criminal offence. Apart from action under appropriate criminal law, such persons will render themselves liable for action under CCS Conduct Rule