Bangalore court rules that “menace or nuisance” can be cause to kill a dog, regardless of ABC status

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  January/February 2013:

BANGALORE––The Karnataka High Court on December 7,  2012 ruled that dogs who “are a menace or cause nuisance,  irrespective of whether there is evidence of them having mauled or bitten children or adults, could be exterminated.”

Problem dogs may be killed “even if they are vaccinated,  sterilized and free from diseases,”  summarized The Hindu.  

But the ruling stipulated that “dogs cannot be culled en masse,”  the Times of India added.  Endorsing the intent of the national Animal Birth Control program,  the court “asked the Bangalore municipal corporation to verify the activities of nonprofit organizations involved in sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs,”  and directed the Bangalore city government “to ensure clearance of garbage to keep stray dogs in check.”

The court prescribed that problem dogs should be killed “in a lethal chamber,”  The Hindu said,  “as prescribed by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the Animal Birth Control Rules 2001.”  A “lethal chamber,”  in the animal control terminology of 1960,  was either a gas chamber or a decompression chamber.”  Neither killing method is now commonly used in India,  and decompression is not known to be used at all.  The ABC Rules 2001 allow the use of lethal injections.

“A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna delivered the verdict while disposing of a batch of public interest litigation petitions––some complaining about stray menace and seeking culling of such dogs,  and others seeking protection against their killing,”  The Hindu added.  “The Bench made clear that animal welfare organizations have no role to play in the decision with regard to culling of such dogs,  except to ensure that they are destroyed in a humane manner.”

The Karnataka High Court ruling came days after dogs severely mauled a five-year-old girl and a 23-year-old housewife,  in separate incidents in Bangalore suburbs.

The four major Bangalore ABC programs reportedly reduced dog bites from about 32,000 in 2003-2004 to 19,000 in 2010-2011,  and cut human rabies fatalities from 20 in 2002 to just one in 2010,  but failed to reduce fatal and disfiguring attacks by non-rabid dogs.

Non-rabid dog attacks appear to have increased following pit bull proliferation,  documented by Times of India writer Ameen Khan in February 2010,  but suspected by humane investigators since January 2007,  when the first of three unwitnessed fatal attacks inflicting wounds on children characteristic of pit bulls occurred.  Another child was killed when she ran in front of a concrete mixer while trying to escape a dog attack.

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