No more 'one home, one dog' policy in Bengaluru: BBMP withdraws controversial pet licensing law following outrage

Karnataka's urban development department informed the Karnataka High Court about BBMP's withdrawal of its most recent pet licensing bye-law from Bengaluru.

FP Staff June 22, 2018 10:09:41 IST
No more 'one home, one dog' policy in Bengaluru: BBMP withdraws controversial pet licensing law following outrage

Dog owners and animal rights activists who came out in support of the 'Not Without My Dog' protest over Bengaluru's 'one home, one dog' policy have reasons to celebrate. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has withdrawn its most recent pet dog licensing bye-law with immediate effect, in wake of the strong opposition it faced since it came into force.

Karnataka's urban development department informed the Karnataka High Court about the development on Thursday as it submitted a notification by the government. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Krishna Dixit disposed the case against the 28 February notification, reported The New Indian Express.

No more one home one dog policy in Bengaluru BBMP withdraws controversial pet licensing law following outrage

BBMP has withdrawn its controversial pet dog licensing bylaw with immediate effect. Reuters

According to Deccan Chronicle, the department told the court that the decision was taken after BBMP received requests from animal lovers and pet owners in the city, adding that the law will be now be re-examined after considering suggestions.

The bench termed the government's decision as "fair" and said that the petitioners could give constructive suggestions to the authorities while framing the new bye-laws, The Hindu reported.

On Wednesday, the high court had directed the BBMP's counsel V Sreenidhi that the civic body should take a clear stand as the matter had "emotional overbearings", The Times of India said. Petitioners in the case — Bengaluru-based Indira Gopal Krishna and groups like Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA), Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre and People — had alleged that the notification was issued without any public consultation.

What made the law controversial

Despite several other directions in its notification, the one that drew the most criticism was the policy on the number of dogs one could have it his or her home. The rule said that apartment dwellers cannot have more than one dog, while those living in independent houses can have no more than three. The municipal body had also approved only 64 breeds for owners to keep. Indies, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Great Danes, Dobermans, were somehow kept out of the list.

Moreover, G Anand, BBMP joint director in the animal husbandry department, had said on record that all dog owners would have to give away their "extra" dogs to friends or shelters.

Another point in the BBMP's circular notifying the law made was that an authorised BBMP officer can capture any dog without an ear notch found straying without an owner in public, under the Animal Birth Control Programme. It further said that the BBMP can sell the dog in a public auction or detain it in a pound if the owner fails to claim the dog within 72 hours of it being captured.

The notification drew severe backlash with people across the nation taking their criticism to various social media platforms. The hashtag NotWithoutMyDogs had become the top trend in Bengaluru on Twitter, as influential personalities raised their concern over the issue.

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