Delhi HC orders continued efforts to sterilise, immunise stray dogs

The Delhi High Court Friday directed the city authorities to ensure continued efforts for sterilisation and immunisation of stray dogs.

The order by a bench headed by Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma came on two petitions pertaining to incidents of dog bites.

The court noted it was satisfied with the performance of the Delhi government and municipal authorities in discharge of their statutory duties, and said sterilisation and immunisation of stray dogs is an important public function which is required to be performed in all earnestness.

“The respondents are directed to ensure that they continue with their efforts and drive for sterilization and immunization of stray dogs, as the same is an important public function and is required to be performed in all its earnestness,” stated the bench, also comprising Justice Jasmeet Singh.

The court, in its order, recorded that as per a status report submitted by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), sterilisation of over 59,000 dogs was done during 2022-2023. Between April and June of 2023, the figure was 12,244, it noted.

Similarly, the Delhi government informed the court that in 2022-2023, more than 63,000 stray dogs were vaccinated against rabies while the figure for the previous year was 85,979.

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Anti-rabies vaccines are provided free of cost round the year in all 77 veterinary hospitals which are equipped with cold chain facilities for storage and transportation of vaccines, also meant for pet dogs and community owned dogs, the government said.

The petitioners, Conference for Human Rights (India) and Triveni Apartments Welfare Association, said their members are socially conscious citizens and desirous of contributing to the society.

They claimed the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, 2001, which mandate regular sterilisation and immunisation programmes for stray dogs to curtail their growing population were not being complied with.

The petitioners claimed that due to non-performance of statutory duties by the authorities, there was a rapid increase in the stray dog population in Delhi resulting in an increase in incidents of dog attacks.

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