Good news for animal lovers in the State of Karnataka. On 13th July 2020 Government of Karnataka issued a Circular detailing the guidelines to be followed by Resident Welfare Association (RWA) / Society Owner Association towards pet and stray animals. It is important to note that it upholds the Article 15(G) of the Constitution of India which states that –
“It is the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for all the living creatures”
It also advises the RWA/AOA’s to adopt ‘Doctrine of Ahimsa’ towards pets and stray animals.
The Circular No. AHP 114 AHP2015(P-1) categorizes the guidelines between Pets and Stray/Community Animals.
Guidelines to RWA/AOA’s on pets are as follows:
- No Ban: RWA/AOA’s cannot resort to any ‘ban’ on keeping of pets
- Byelaws & Regulations: Illegal to have Byelaws & Regulations which ‘ban’ pets
- Discrimination: Illegal to discriminate usage of certain facilities by pets viz., Lifts, Garden, etc.
- Cleaning of Pet Poop: No rule to mandate cleaning of pet poop and RWA/AOA cannot levy charges, fines on pet owners (Only request Pet Owners to maintain civic responsibility)
Guidelines to RWA/AOA’s on Strays & Community Animals are as follows:
- Sterilize & Vaccinate: RWA/AOA’s to coordinate with authorised organisations and carry our sterilization & vaccination of stray dogs
- No relocation: Vaccinated pets cannot be relocated or removed
- Feed Strays: Advocates to feed stray and ensure reduction of aggression and population. Persons who are trying to interfere or object to feeding strays can be liable to criminal intimidation under Indian Penal Code. Feeding stray animals is not against law and RWA/AOA cannot interfere with a person’s freedom to feed any stray animal.
- Increasing awareness: RWA/AOA to increase awareness among residents to take care of stray and community animals
The guidelines issued by the Government of Karnataka are in line with erstwhile guidelines issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).
Pet & Animal lovers are also requested to adopt a co-operative attitude with RWA/AOA & other residents to ensure the welfare of animals and also maintain harmony within Societies.
Click here to view the full circular.
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