Culling of stray dogs challenged in Sindh High Court

Sindh High Court on Tuesday took notice of the culling of dogs taking place in Karachi


Naeem Sahoutara September 02, 2016
A municipal worker unloads the bodies of stray dogs from a garbage truck after they were culled using poison by the municipality in Karachi, Pakistan, August 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notices to the heads of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, the Defense Housing Authority and the Clifton Cantonment Board for culling stray dogs in Karachi.

Animal cruelty: Residents outraged over poisoning of guard dogs

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was hearing a petition pleading the court to restrain local authorities from the brutal practice of poisoning stray dogs to death.

The petition filed by Barrister Muhammad Asad Iftikhar argued
that the Sindh Local Government Act provided an outline for treatment of stray animals and encouraged welfare centres for animals. However, the petition claimed the respondents had made no by-laws regarding stray and dangerous animals.

The respondents carried out the brutal practice without any legal cover, pointed out the lawyer, adding that the SLGA also referred to matters relating to by-laws may be made. They deplored that while the Act provided for establishing detention centres for stray animals, the same had not been done. The judges were informed that the practice of killing stray dogs was ethically questionable, especially when humane alternatives exist.

800 stray dogs poisoned to death in Karachi

Section 25 and 29 of the SLGA gives ample room to induce the safety of stray animals. However, no active action has been taken to counter their population, the court was informed.

The court was told that 800 dogs were killed alone in District South of Karachi during the month of August, which had caused outrage among the people, who had expressed resentment over the issue.

Muhammad Asad Iftikhar said that a body campaigning for the rights of the animals – the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society – had launched a petition that 17,000 people had signed to restrain more killings of stray dogs. The court was asked to consider the petition as public interest litigation and declare the acts and omissions of the respondents as illegal, unjustifiable and unreasonable. It was also urged to restrain the KMC, the DHA and the CBC authorities from killing stray dogs in the city.

Stray dogs rounded up, culled in Karachi

Moreover, a direction was also sought for them to start vaccination and sterilisation of stray dogs to limit their population. After hearing the preliminary arguments, the bench issued notices to the chief secretary, the heads of the CBC, DHA and KMC to file their comments for a date to be later notified by the office.

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