Dog Menace: Govt Bans 23 Foreign Breeds Amid Rising Incidents, Controversy Ensues Over Stereotyping & Policies

Dog Menace: Govt Bans 23 Foreign Breeds Amid Rising Incidents, Controversy Ensues Over Stereotyping & Policies

This comes after the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India learnt there has been rising dog bite incidents involving specific dog breeds claimed to be ferocious.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Monday, March 25, 2024, 10:48 PM IST
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Govt Bans 23 Foreign Breeds Amid Rising Incidents | Photo: Pexels

Mumbai: Acting on the recent circular issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying to all registered breeders to stop breeding on March 12, the state animal husbandry department will be directing all local bodies to strictly enforce the ban on sales, import and keeping of 23 foreign dog breeds within their jurisdictions which are threat or danger for human.

This comes after the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India learnt there has been rising dog bite incidents involving specific dog breeds claimed to be ferocious.

In response to a series of concerning incidents involving specific dog breeds, the government announced a significant measure on March 12: a nationwide ban on the import, breeding, selling, and keeping of these breeds as pets or for other purposes. Local authorities have been instructed to take the necessary steps for implementing this ban, including the sterilization of pet dogs to prevent further breeding.

“We have been taking measures to implement centres order on banning 23 foreign dog breeds for which issuance of license for breeding these dogs have been stopped. Moreover soon a meeting with all local bodies will be taken in coming days and at that time will be directives will be issued for implementation,” said a senior official from the state government.

The circular stated, “breeds (including mixed and cross breeds) like Pitbull Terrier, Tosa Inu, American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Boerboel, Kangal, Central Asian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka), Caucasian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka), South Russian Shepherd Dog (ovcharka), Tornjak, Sarplaninac, Japanese Tosa and Akita, Mastiffs (Boer bulls), Rottweiler, Terriers, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Wolf Dogs, Canario, Akbash dog, Moscow Guard dog, Cane Corso, and every dog of the type commonly known as a Ban Dog (or Bandog).”

The official further added that local bodies will also be instructed to carry out the sterilization of pet dogs belonging to the 23 banned breeds kept within their jurisdiction. Moreover those who want to keep these breed dogs will not be given license.

The Karnataka HC stayed the circular on 19 March and the Calcutta HC ordered a partial stay stating the stay didn’t apply to the circular’s directive of banning the import and sale of such dog breeds due to the “commercial connotation”. The Delhi HC also sought the Centre’s response to a plea challenging the circular.

According to Vet doctors Association, the most popular dog breed like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Dobermans, and German Shepherds are among the favorites in the city.

“The dog breeds like Rottweiler, Pitbull Terrier, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino and American Bulldog amongst others are less popular, as these breeds are primarily guard dogs and need large spaces. However banning dog breeds is not a solution but the responsible pet owners should have adequate space, proper training, and understanding how to handle and care for your pet regardless of the breed,” said an official.

Dr Sarika Funde, veterinary superintendent of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said, once we receive the directions we will start working on it. “The strategy and implementation of rules will be discussed with the Municipal Commissioner before implementation. The issue is already under discussion.”

Meanwhile dog activists slammed the centre stating that labeling entire dog breeds as ferocious and dangerous can be unjust and inaccurate. Dogs, like any other animals, behave based on their upbringing, training, and environment rather than inherent traits of their breed. Policies and circulars should focus on responsible ownership and education rather than unfairly targeting specific breeds.

“It's crucial to base decisions on scientific evidence rather than stereotypes or assumptions about specific dog breeds. Comprehensive data should guide any policy decisions related to pet ownership and public safety. While supporting responsible breeding and discouraging indiscriminate breeding is important, it's equally vital to address issues such as training, socialization, and responsible ownership across all breed,” he said.

Moreover In most cases, dogs bite as a response to feeling threatened, provoked, or fearful. It's unfortunate that decisions targeting specific breeds can lead to hardships for responsible pet owners and their dogs.

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