HC puts on hold any fund transfer to Kudumbasree by state govt for animal birth control measures

The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the state government to put on hold any proposed transfer of funds to Kudumbasree for carrying out animal birth control (ABC) measures till the time it is ascertained whether its members are registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and they have the necessary expertise to conduct such activities.

A Bench of Justices A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and P Gopinath made it clear that any proposed transfer of funds would not be given effect without an order of the court.

Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme of the state government.

It also said the “crude method” of dog catching under the ABC programme cannot continue in the present manner and asked the animal welfare groups to give suggestions to the state on the issue.

The court also asked the amicus curiae appointed by it to collect suggestions from all stakeholders with regard to re-constituting of the state animal welfare board and to place it before the bench before the next date of hearing on August 2.

The directions came while hearing of a PIL initiated by the court on its own in the wake of the recent gruesome killing of a dog named Bruno which was tied up and beaten to death by some people on the Adimalathura beach on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram.

It had directed that the case be renamed as “In Re: Bruno as a fitting tribute to the hapless dog that succumbed to acts of human cruelty.”

The court had, earlier, issued several directions in the matter like reconstituting the state animal welfare board, registration of pets with local bodies and obtaining a licence and removal of posters by local authorities to keep pets chained or caged at all times.

On Friday, the central government informed the court that the AWBI has come out with a model composition for the state animal welfare board.

After perusing the same, the bench asked the amicus curiae to collect suggestions regarding composition of the board, and any sub-committees thereof, from all stakeholders and to place it before the court.

The state government, meanwhile, told the bench that process with regard to registration of pets was underway and the posters, which had shocked the court on the last date, have all been removed.

It also told the court that it was proposing to transfer funds to the Kudumbasree for carrying out animal birth control programs across the state.

On this aspect, the court directed the state government to temporarily suspend transfer of any funds and to first find out whether Kudumbasree or its members were registered with AWBI and do they have the necessary expertise to implement animal birth control measures.

The court also directed the various animal welfare organisations before it to “tell us what you can do to help the state with regard to providing shelter to the animals”.

With regard to the plea by People for Animals, represented by advocate Bhanu Thilak, against various apartment associations, RWAs and housing societies’ decisions to bar pets in their localities or flats, the court said that once the state animal welfare board is constituted this issue can be raised before it.

Source : PTI

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