High Court favors impounding dogs
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2007:
MUMBAI–The Constitutional bench of the Bombay High Court on
April 20, 2007 heard arguments on the constitutionality of Animal
Birth Control programs in Mumbai and Goa. The cases before the High
Court parallel claims made by ABC program opponents in Bangalore and
Hyderabad that releasing street dogs after sterilization
unconstitutionally jeopardizes the safety of citizens.
“The 3-judges bench is expected to direct setting up
committees as per the ABC rules to monitor the implementation and
progress of ABC in Mumbai and in Goa,” reported Mumbai attorney
Norma Alvares. “The judges have accepted the argument that killing
dogs is not the solution to the problem, and want to give ABC a
chance to show that it is effective in reducing the numbers of dogs
and curbing rabies.
“One of the judges wanted the dogs to be moved out of the
city once they are sterilized,” Alvarez noted. “That would have
been impossible to do, and would be contrary to the program,” which
counts upon sterilized dogs occupying food sources so that
unvaccinated and unsterilized dogs cannot invade their habitat and
“Finally,” Alvares continued, “he accepted that all dogs
cannot be sent out, but still felt that at least some dogs must go
to a pound so as to reduce the number of dogs on the street. The
court is therefore directing that the authorities set up dog pounds.
“I supported the idea of state dog pounds,” Alvares said,
“because all of us receive complaints now and then from people about
aggressive dogs troubling people on the street, and none of us have
place to accommodate such animals over long periods of time. If the
government sets up a dog pound, these animals can be transferred
there and this will appease the public.”
Mumbai municipality and Goa state are to report progress to
the court on June 22, Alvares said.
The Bombay High Court heard the case one day after
Pudu-cherry chief minister N. Rangasamy told the Puducherry Congress
that his administration is soon to institute dog impoundment,
Puducherry, on the southern coast of the Bay of Bengal, is
the onetime French outpost formerly called Pondicherry.