Delhi HC Seeks Centre’s Response on Plea Challenging Ban on 23 Dog Breeds

 The Delhi High Court has sought the response of the Centre on a petition alleging that the ban on the sale and breeding of 23 dog breeds was arbitrary and violative of the Constitution.

Justice Subramonium Prasad directed the central government to address the plea filed by a professional dog breeder and a doctor who is an “enthusiast of special category dogs”.

The petition argued that no studies were conducted to determine that the breeds were “ferocious” and thus warranted a ban, contending that the directive infringed upon one’s right to practice any profession, trade, or business guaranteed under the Constitution.

On March 12, the Centre ordered states to prohibit the sale and breeding of 23 breeds of ferocious dogs, including Dogo Argentino, Boerboel, Tosa Inu, Pitbull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, and Mastiffs, due to increasing instances of pet dog attacks.

The directive, issued to states and Union Territories, prohibits individuals from keeping these 23 breeds of dogs as pets. Additionally, a letter dated March 12 to chief secretaries of all states and UTs from the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying instructed that these breeds of dogs already kept as pets should be sterilized to prevent further breeding.

The petition argued that the decision was made without consulting key stakeholders and discriminated against individuals involved in the profession of dog training. It emphasized that both Petitioner No. 1 and Petitioner No. 2 represent individuals directly affected by the Impugned Notification, as it infringes upon their fundamental rights, threatens their livelihoods, and undermines their collective efforts to promote responsible dog breeding practices and preserve special dog breeds. The petition also stated that by stifling the activities of enthusiasts and organizations committed to preserving purebred dog breeds, the notification disrupts the fabric of the dog breeding community and curtails the dissemination of valuable knowledge and expertise.

Furthermore, the plea highlighted that no study had been conducted to conclude that the banned breeds were “ferocious” and warranted a ban. It asserted, “There is no data which indicates that it is these dogs that have caused terror which warrant their ban. An arbitrary and blanket ban on 23 dog breeds is therefore violative of the Constitution of India.”

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte