Q: Is there any law that prohibits feeding of stray dogs in places with endangered species? What happens when stray dogs hunt endangered species? Is there a provision in the law in such cases to relocate these dogs (the law says that neutered and spayed dogs cannot be relocated)?

Asked by Mary

Answer from Abi Tamim Vanak, Ph.D:

No, unfortunately there is no law that specifically prohibits feeding of stray dogs in any place. However, there are laws against littering in public places, causing nuisance in public places, abandoning pets (refer this article and http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/The-street-is-no-place-for-dogs/article15422728.ece)  endangering the lives of citizens (https://thewire.in/67743/dogs-rabies-neutering-safety/).

The Chief Wildlife Warden is empowered to take any action necessary to protect endangered species. The Maharashtra state has, through an amendment in the Forest Act, Refer Chapter III, Section 9 (http://www.mahaforest.nic.in/act_rule_file/1405943595Maharashtra%20Forest%20Rules%202014.pdf), given authority to any forest officer “(3) While exercising the powers vested in the Forest-officer under section 66, if it is not possible for him to chase away or capture the dog or any other domesticated or trained animal referred to in clause (i) of sub-rule (1) out of the limits of such forest without delay, it shall be lawful for him to kill or cause such trespassing animal to be killed or trapped and removed from forest, by using all means at his disposal at that time, whether or not, said trespassing animal has frightened, driven away, wounded or killed any wild animal within such forest or outside.”

Therefore, if other states are to follow this example, they can also remove or kill dogs that are a threat to wildlife inside an RF or other protected area.

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