The Kerala high court directed earlier this week on 14th July 2021, Wednesday that all owners of animals, such as cattle and pets, obtain an ownership license from the local council within six months.
After considering the Suo motu public interest case (WP-C No. 13204/2021) filed by the court following the death of a dog named Bruno in Adimalathura in Thiruvananthapuram, a division bench comprising of Justices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Gopinath P gave the order.
The bench also listed DAYA and Angels Nair, General Secretary for Animal Legal Force Integration, as new respondents in the case. The Court decided that this case would be heard every two weeks until the court’s orders were followed.
The court stated in the order, “The State Government in the Local Self Government Department shall immediately direct the local authorities in the State to forthwith issue public notices requiring owners of animals- cattle, pets, etc.-falling within their respective local limits to register the animals in their own with the local authority concerned and obtain a license therefor as mandated under the Municipality/Panchayat Act/Rules. If necessary, the government may additionally define the types of licenses and the fees that can be collected for the registration/licensing procedure, to complete the registration/licensing of all such animals currently kept by owners within six months of today. Future animal owners will also be required to register their animals with the local administration within three months after acquiring them, according to the government’s guidelines.”
The Bench noted that such registration would be beneficial in a variety of ways. Many animals, for example, are found abandoned throughout the state. These animals can be taken to a shelter, but their owners must be tracked down and persuaded not to have any more pets. This could also apply to persons who injure or kill animals. This process was made easier by registering.
Similarly, the Court noted how each registered animal used to be given an aluminum tag. There was also a plan to implant microchips into every registered animal to make it easier to identify them. These should be reinstated and strictly enforced throughout the state.
The court ordered that the government can utilize the facilities now maintained by the various animal welfare organizations in the state by providing financial and infrastructural support.
Concerning the event in Adimalathura, the court directed the director-general of the prosecution to inquire whether any processes have been taken against Bruno’s owners to force him to compromise the case against the accused. The court’s directive was based on the submission of amicus curiae Ramesh Babu that proceedings had been initiated against the owners to pressurise them into withdrawing the complaint.