NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Animal Welfare Board of India to identify dog feeding sites all across the city for feeding stray dogs.
Disposing of a batch of petitions, Justice M L Mehta asked AWBI to identify feeding sites in Delhi colonies and implement guidelines prepared by AWBI - and approved by HC - for feeding stray canines in a hygienic and safe manner.
The petitioners, all animal lovers, had approached HC urging it to intervene and save them from vicious attacks from those opposed to them feeding stray dogs. They alleged they were harassed and threatened by residents of their colonies for giving food to stray dogs. Arguing it was their right to feed stray dogs, the petitioners drew HC's attention to laws and rules for taking care of stray dogs. The petitions pointed out that taking care of stray dogs would in fact ensure their vaccination and sterilization.
HC then roped in the AWBI and the Delhi Police. AWBI was asked to prepare guidelines to reduce chances of friction between dog lovers and local residents who suffered canine bites or were mauled by them. The court agreed with the petitioners, that feeding stray dogs is both lawful and helpful, and instructed the cops to give protection to animal lovers who wanted to feed stray dogs. "Feeding dogs makes them friendly and easier to handle, and citizens are free to feed dogs in areas to be decided by the Animal Welfare Board," HC had earlier said.