Give details of steps taken to compensate dog-bite victims: SC

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Faced with the threat stray dogs pose to human lives, the Supreme Court sought from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and other authorities the details of measures to give adequate compensation to dog-bite victims and their families.

Noting that many of these victims were from poor families and breadwinners, a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy acknowledged the arguments by advocate V.K. Biju — who represents the victims — that neither the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, nor the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules of 2001 provided for compensation to dog-bite victims.

The court then posted the case for hearing on November 17, when it would specifically consider the “grave situation” prevalent in Kerala because of the “excessive stray dog population.”

In its second report, a Supreme Court-appointed Committee, led by the former Kerala High Court judge Justice S. Siri Jagan, said “immediate reduction” of the stray dog population, and not birth control, was the need of the hour.

The committee, which also includes the State’s Law Secretary and Director of Health Services, said the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme “cannot be a solution to the immediate problem of very excessive dog population faced by the people in the State.” The committee countered animal lovers’ claim that sterilised dogs become docile.

“There is no evidence that the ABC procedures reduce the ferocity in dogs,” the report said.

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