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Karnataka HC stays Centre’s circular banning rearing ‘dangerous’ dog breeds within state

By Rintu Mariam Biju      21 March, 2024 04:28 PM      0 Comments
Karnataka HC stays Centres circular banning rearing dangerous dog breeds within state

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has stayed a Central government circular banning rearing of certain breeds of dogs owing to them being ferocious and dangerous to human life, only in the State of Karnataka.

“Therefore, till the learned DSGI would produce those documents that went into decision making of the impugned circular on the strength of the records, the circular dated 12.03.2024 issued by the 1st respondent shall remain stayed, only in the State of Karnataka”, Justice M Nagaprasanna said. 

The Court was considering a circular issued by Ministry of fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying department of the Government of India dated March 12, 2024 which bans certain breed of dogs. 

The breeds that are indicated in the circular are as follows:

“breeds (including mixed and cross breeds) like Pitbull Terrier, Tosa Inu, American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Boerboel, Kangal, Central Asian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka), Caucasian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka), South Russian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka), Tornjak, Sarplaninac, Japanese Tosa and Akita, Mastiffs (boerbulls), Rottweiler, Terriers, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Wolf Dogs, Canario, Akbash dog, Moscow Guard dog, Cane corso and every dog of the type commonly known as a Ban Dog (or Bandog).”
 

The circular also directed that that dog owners owing these breeds of dogs should sterilize for stopping further breeding. 

After going through the factual matrix, the court noted that this was pursuant to an Expert Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Animal Husbandry Commission with members from various stake holder organizations and experts. 

“The committee appears to have identified the aforesaid breed of dogs as ferocious and dangerous to human life. Therefore, the effect of the circular is pan-India and has a devastating effect on the aforesaid breed of dogs”. 

The counsel appearing for the Centre informed that the circular was issued in compliance with a Delhi High Court order. In that case, the High Court had permitted the Union of India to consider the representation of the petitioner and while so doing, it clearly indicated that the Union of India shall, after consulting all the stake holders, shall decide the petitioner’s representation, as expeditiously as possible, within 3 months. 
In response to this, the counsel for petitioner, the Kennel Club of India which has various chapters all over the nation, informed that they were not heard. They are the only certifying Kennel club, the court was told.  

It was argued that to identify a particular breed of dog to be ferocious and dangerous to human life, the same would require profound expertise for such identification as to whether those breeds of dogs are appropriately trained or not. It is his submission that several breeds are identical to the breeds that are found in India, are not the part of the circular. 

Hearing this, the court noted that Delhi High Court’s order stated that all the stake holders shall be consulted, “not a few or various”. 

“The High Court of Delhi was unequivocal in directing that all stake holders must be consulted before consideration of the representation of the petitioner therein and only then, any action should be taken. The circular though refers to members of several stake holder organization being a part of the Expert Committee, there are several who would not be heard”, the High Court noted while posting the matter for further hearing on April 5. 



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