The Supreme Court on Tuesday posted to September for final hearing on whether stray dogs can be exterminated by authorities if they caused "nuisance" to people.
A bench of justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan told senior counsel Raj Panjwani appearing for Animal Welfare Board of India and others that it would hear the matter at length and pass appropriate orders.
The apex court had on January 23, 2009 stayed a Bombay High Court judgement which had allowed municipal authorities in Maharashtra to kill stray dogs causing "nuisance". The board in its appeal had maintained that unless the term "nuisance" was clearly defined the order of the high court cannot be implemented.
It was pointed out that two sets of legislations existed on treatment of stray dogs in Mumbai. The Animal Birth Control Rules (ABC rules) formulated under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 mandated killing of only rabid, incurably ill or mortally wounded dogs. On the other hand, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act gave discretion to the civic commissioner to exterminate the animals.
Counsel for the board had argued that there are broad apex court guidelines for resorting to killing stray canines. It was contended that if a dog is rabid or mortally wounded or incurably ill it has to be taken and euthanised by the authorities by following the rules and guidelines. Further it was submitted that stay dogs biting people should be sterilised and not exterminated.
The high court had passed the impugned order on a petition filed by a Goa-based organisation People for Elimination of Stray Troubles which had sought killing of stray dogs to rid the society of their menace.