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Supreme Court says no to Culling of Stray Dogs across India

"Stray dogs have a right to live"

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Right to life of stray dogs
Dogs, Pixabay
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New Delhi, Jan 19, 2017:  Inequality is an issue that has grappled India, be it human beings or animals the unequal treatment is highly prevailing. To sort this out Supreme court came up with the verdict that “Stray dogs have a right to live”. This sharply came up today when a submission was made that such canines should be completely destroyed across the country.

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A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumathi have observed that though culling of stray dogs was permissible, there has to be a balance and a proper method for this. When one of the petitioners told the apex court that he wanted to “totally destroy” stray dogs across India, the bench said “nobody can destroy stray dogs in entirety”. They also have a right to live”. Concurring with the observations of apex court, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand said that stray dogs have a right to live and there has to be a balance.

There has been many petitions put forward to the apex court on issues relating to orders passed by various civic bodies on culling of stray dogs which have become a menace, especially in Kerala and Mumbai. The Kerala bench said during the hearing that there were issues of human concern but for this all stray dogs cannot be killed. “A person can die due to dog bite. It is an accident and for that, we cannot say kill all the stray dogs,” it said.

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The bench was also informed that a panel headed by former Kerala High Court judge Sri Jagan had received around 400 matters related to dog bites and it was working on it. The apex court had set up a panel to inquire into incidents where people and even children killed stray dogs and these acts were supported by several vigilante groups in Kerala.

A counsel told the bench, which listed the matter for further hearing on March 1 that “The panel has received around 400 applications out of which 24 have been settled. The committee is working on it”, mentioned PTI.

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When an advocate told the court that people have died due to dog bites in Kerala and children were unable to go to school due to this menace, the bench said, “just because there are some stray dogs in a field or a school, they cannot be killed”.

The court also said that “They (stray dogs) have to be taken to shelter homes ….if there is no way out, they have to be culled and not killed. But there has to be a method for it”. Reacting to the proposal one of the petitioners said he would construct shelter homes for dogs in his area in Kerala. However, the apex court asked him to submit a concrete proposal and prepare a road map.

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Japan Bans Smoking Inside Public Facilities, Seen By Critics as Pointless

The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law Wednesday after it was approved earlier by the lower house

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The law will be implemented in phases through April 2020. VOA

Japan on Wednesday approved its first national legislation banning smoking inside public facilities, but the watered-down measure excludes many restaurants and bars and is seen by critics as toothless.

The legislation aims to lower secondhand smoking risks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid international calls for a smoke-free event. But ruling party lawmakers with strong ties to the tobacco and restaurant industries opted for a weakened version.

The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law Wednesday after it was approved earlier by the lower house.

Last month, Tokyo separately enacted a stricter ordinance banning smoking at all eateries that have employees, to protect them from secondhand smoke. The ordinance will cover about 84 percent of Tokyo restaurants and bars.

But the law still allows many exceptions and the Tokyo Games may not be fully smoke-free.

Japan often has been called a smokers’ paradise. Until now it has had no binding law controlling secondhand smoke and ranked among the least protected countries by the World Health Organization. That has brought pressure from international Olympic officials.

The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Smoking will be allowed at existing small eateries, including those with less than 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) of customer space, which includes more than half of Japanese establishments. Larger and new eateries must limit smoking to designated rooms.

Violators can face fines of up to 300,000 yen ($2,700) for smokers and up to 500,000 yen ($4,500) for facility managers.

The law will be implemented in phases through April 2020.

Japan
The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Pixabay

‘Too lenient’

The law allowing smoking at more than half of Japan’s restaurants as exceptions is inadequate, said Hiroyasu Muramatsu, a doctor serving on Tokyo’s anti-smoking committee. “The law is too lenient compared to international standards,” he told Japan’s NHK public television. “We need a full smoking ban.”

The health ministry’s initial draft bill called for stricter measures but faced opposition from lawmakers sympathetic to the restaurant industry. The government also was viewed as opposed to harsher measures because the former monopoly Japan Tobacco is still partly state-owned.

In Japan, almost a fifth of adults still smoke. The rate for men in their 30s to 50s is nearly twice as high, according to a government survey last year.

Also Read: Passive Smoking May Spike up Snoring Risk in Kids

Most office workers now light up only in smoking rooms or outdoors, and cities are gradually imposing limits on outdoor smoking in public areas. But most restaurants and bars in Japan allow smoking, making them the most common public source of secondhand smoke.

“Secondhand smoking has been largely considered an issue of the manners, but it’s not,” Kazuo Hasegawa, 47, a nonsmoker who has developed lung cancer, told NHK. “It’s about health hazards. It harms people. And I don’t want younger generations to have to suffer like me.”

In Japan, about 15,000 people, mainly women and children, die annually as a result of secondhand smoke, according to government and WHO estimates. (VOA)