Ban on ferocious dog breeds will only be applicable in Karnataka: Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court has put a stay on the recent circular by the central government that asked for a ban on 23 breeds of ‘ferocious dogs which are dangerous for human life.

The bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna stated that the stay would only be applicable in Karnataka.

The bench stated that the Expert Committee whose recommendation led to the circular had not consulted any stakeholder before the decision, due to which a joint petition was moved by a professional dog handler and the owner of a Rottweiler.

In its order the Court said that till the Deputy Solicitor General of India produces documents indicating what went into the decision, the government circular shall remain stayed, only in the State of Karnataka.

The Court in its circular mentioned that all those who have reared such dogs shall be sterilized for stopping further breeding of those breeds.

In its report, the committee appears identified some breed of dogs as ferocious and dangerous to human life.

The matter will be heard next on April 5.

In its circular, the Centre has asked all states and union territories to ban 23 breeds of ferocious dogs which are dangerous for human life.

The Central government had assured the Delhi High Court in December 2023 that it will expeditiously take a decision on the demand for a ban on licences to keep breeds of dogs considered to be dangerous.

The committe that decided on the matter was chaired by the Animal Husbandry Commissioner and comprised of stakeholder organizations and experts, identified the following dog breeds as ferocious and dangerous to human life:

  1. Pitbull Terrier
  2. Tosa Inu 
  3. American Staffordshire Terrier 
  4. Fila Brasileiro 
  5. Dogo Argentino 
  6. American Bulldog 
  7. Boerboel 
  8. Kangal 
  9. Central Asian Shepherd Dog (Ovcharka) 
  10. Caucasian Shepherd Dog (Ovcharka) 
  11. South Russian Shepherd Dog (Ovcharka) 
  12. Tornjak, Sarplaninac 
  13. Japanese Tosa,
  14. Japanese Akita, 
  15. Mastiffs 
  16. Rottweiler 
  17. Terriers 
  18. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  19. Wolf dogs 
  20. Canario Akbash dog 
  21. Moscow Guard dog 
  22. Cane Corso 
  23. Every dog of the type commonly known as Ban Dog (or Bandog)

The petitioners challenged the decision before the Karnataka High Court stating that the circular was highly arbitrary, without jurisdiction and profoundly discriminatory in nature.

As per the plea no particular dog breed can be identified as an aggressive and its only the untrained and unsocialised dogs.

The petitioner contended that there are several dog breeds which are not covered under the impugned circular which have also caused dogs attacks, and for the said reason the rationale behind the classification circular is highly arbitrary and it should be re-examined.

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