New Delhi [India], April 27 (ANI): Delhi High Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre and Delhi government on a plea seeking directions for providing food and water to stray animals during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
A division bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Talwant Singh issued notices to the respondents and slated the matter for further hearing on June 10.
The petition, filed by animal rights activist Arti Puri through lawyer Gauri Puri, said that stray animals who are suffering on account of the lockdown is a violation of the right to life of animals who have a right to live in dignity and honour, and ought not to be subjected to unnecessary suffering and pain on account of lack of food.
According to advocate Puri, the court has also directed the Delhi government to issue passes to animal welfare volunteers to move in the city during the lockdown.
The plea said that presently there are only a handful of NGOs and volunteers that are ensuring that stray animals are fed in very limited areas of Delhi and added that the animal volunteers, due to lack of adequate fund and lockdown orders, are unable to take care of the several starving stray dogs and animals languishing on the streets of Delhi.
If necessary provisions for stray dogs and animals are not made immediately, the same can have far-reaching consequences since the stray animals will die of starvation leading to another epidemic since limited staff engaged towards civic amenities such as sanitization of colonies and garbage collection would be unable to dispose of dead bodies of stray dogs and animals, it said.
It said that apart from a loss of animal life, a situation will also arise where the stray dogs, in particular, enter into other territories searching for food and display aggressive behaviour towards humans in search of food.
The petitioner requested that it is imperative that the Government of Delhi along with the Union of India direct the municipal authorities in Delhi to provide food and water to several stray dogs and animals languishing in various part of city.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) constituted towards promoting animal welfare of the Country ought to implement guidelines and directive to ensure that no stray animal is subjected to suffering on account of starvation during the period of lockdown, the petition said.
According to the petition, stray dogs and animals are largely dependent on the garbage and left-over food from restaurants, kitchens and canteens of schools, colleges, courts, government and private offices, commercial establishments, marketplaces, parks etc.
It said that the stray animals were also being fed by locals, students, and office goers. However, due to the lockdown, stray animals have no means to access food and are being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering due to starvation. (ANI)