The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday took up the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for its notification regarding pet regulations in the city.
The petitioner had contended that according to Section 423, subsections 21 and 22 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, the BBMP was allowed to pass bye-laws regarding animals only in terms of prevention of dangerous diseases to humans or animals and enforcement of compulsory vaccination.
The petitioner termed that the BBMP did not have the authority to pass bye-laws on any other matter regarding the number of pets people can own as it is not under its purview to do so.
â€śClearly something is amiss in these regulations and the core legal aspects are missing from it,â€ť said Dinesh Maheshwari, Chief Justice of Karnataka.
The BBMP submitted that its Department of Animal Husbandry wants to revisit the regulations framed after consultation with the government as the notification in its current form is â€śvery difficult to implementâ€ť.
The court ordered the BBMP to discuss with the concerned authorities and submit its decision before the court at 11.30 am on Thursday.
The High Court, on June 15, had directed the petitioner to look into the then Corporation of Bangalore Cityâ€™s notification on pet regulations.
â€śThe notification which was passed on January 27, 1954 is not available with the BBMP and hence its contents are unknown,â€ť said the petitionerâ€™s lawyer Alok Madappa.
The BBMP also admitted that it was not in possession of this notification. The Chief Justice, who was appalled at this revelation, directed the BBMP to retrieve the notification and submit its final decision regarding the pet regulations on Thursday.
â€śThis certainly has emotional overbearing on the people. The BBMP has the bona fide right to respond as they say they want to revisit the contents of the notification but the court can set the pace for it,â€ť Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari added.
The bye-laws on pet regulations were notified by the BBMP without public consultation on June 4. In its notification, the BBMP specified 64 approved breeds which it said can be kept as pets and declared that no other breed can be kept inside peopleâ€™s homes. Strangely, the list did not include indies or strays, or even popular breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel and Golden Retriever.
The mandate also includes compulsory licensing and microchipping of dogs, inspection of the same by a veterinary official attached to the BBMP and capturing of dogs found to be without an â€śear notch or identification mark as required under the Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programmeâ€ť.
These captured dogs may be taken by their owners within 72 hours after paying a fee of Rs 450. However, unclaimed dogs would be â€śauctioned, sent to a shelter home or detained in a dog point.â€ť And if an unclaimed dog is found to be suffering from rabies, it can be euthanised by a veterinary officer attached to the Department of Animal Husbandry â€“ a provision, animal welfare workers say, is prone to be misused to put down healthy but unwanted dogs.