Street dogs have right to food, it is citizens' moral responsibility to protect animals: Delhi HC

Street dogs have right to food, it is citizens' moral responsibility to protect animals: Delhi HC

The high court laid down guidelines regarding feeding of stray dogs and called it a territorial being

The Delhi High Court in a ruling on Thursday observed that street dogs have a right to food and citizens have the right to feed them, the court also said that in exercising this right it should be ensured that in doing so it does not cause harassment or nuisance to other citizens.

The high court laid down guidelines regarding feeding of stray dogs and called it a territorial being. The court observed that it has to be fed and tended to at places which is not frequented by the general public.

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"Community dogs (stray/street dogs) have the right to food and citizens have the right to feed community dogs but in exercising this right, care and caution should be taken to ensure that it does not impinge upon the rights of others or cause any harm, hindrance, harassment and nuisance to other individuals or members of the society," Justice J R Midha said in the verdict.

The court emphasised that there is a need to spread awareness that animals have a right to live with respect and dignity and asked the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to carry out an awareness campaign in association with media.

Also, the High Court asked the AWBI to designate areas in consultation with Resident Welfare Associations for feeding of community dogs. Stating it was the moral responsibility of each and every citizen to protect the animals, the court also directed the AWBI to ensure that every RWA constitutes an Animal Welfare Committee.

The bench said that if any of the street or community dogs are injured or unwell, it will be the duty of the RWA to secure their treatment by the vets from the funds of the RWA.

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