In a PIL filed by advocate Anupam Tripathi to stop culling of stray dogs undertaken by the Thiruvananthapuram civic body, the Supreme Court has directed the municipal authorities to show “compassion” towards stray dogs to avoid their indiscriminate killings but ensure that human beings do not have to suffer due to dog bites. The court stressed on the need for harmonious co-existence of dogs with human beings and noted that the canine is a “glorious gift of nature.”

A two-judge bench directed the Animal Welfare of Boards of all states to ensure that the rules framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act were followed to eliminate disease-afflicted stray dogs. The bench, going through the rules said, “We find the local authorities have a sacrosanct duty to provide sufficient number of dog pounds, including animal kennels/shelters, which may be managed by the animal welfare organisations.”

The court also said it is also incumbent upon the local authorities to provide requisite number of dog vans with ramps for the capture and transportation of street dogs; one driver and two trained dog catchers for each dog van; an ambulance-cum-clinical van as mobile centre for sterilisation and immunisation; incinerators for disposal of carcasses and periodic repair of shelter or pound.