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Madras HC Halts Central Government's Ban on Ferocious Dog Imports, Breeding, and Sales

Madras HC Halts Central Government's Ban on Ferocious Dog Imports, Breeding, and Sales

On March 12, 2024, the Madras High Court issued a temporary halt to the actions of the Central Government, which effectively bans the importation, breeding, and sale of dogs deemed hazardous and threatening to human safety.

The single-headed bench of Justice Anita Sumanth granted the interim stay in response to a plea filed by the Kennel Club of India, aiming to nullify the circular issued by the central government.

On March 12, 2014, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying Department of the Government of India issued a circular announcing the recommendation of an expert committee to ban the importation, breeding, and sale of specific breeds of dogs identified as aggressive and posing a danger to human life. Additionally, the circular stated that dogs already kept as pets must undergo sterilization to prevent further breeding.

The Kennel Club of India contended that the circular was issued in accordance with a directive from the Delhi High Court. They argued that the High Court had explicitly stated that all stakeholders must be consulted prior to any action. However, the Kennel Club of India, being a significant stakeholder with chapters worldwide, was neither consulted nor given an opportunity to present their perspective.

The club contended that determining a specific breed of dog as ferocious and hazardous to human life necessitated considerable expertise, including assessing whether the dogs were adequately trained. They asserted that no such expertise was utilized in the formulation of the circular.

The Club argued that the circular was entirely illegal and unjustifiable, lacking both legal and factual merit. They contended that dogs under the care of responsible owners seldom exhibit ferocious behavior and pose no threat to humans. Furthermore, they asserted that incidents of dog attacks and casualties primarily involve stray and feral dogs rather than purebred ones. Thus, the Club deemed the ban on specific dog breeds as illogical and unlawful, and sought to overturn the circular.

Case Title: The Kennel Club of India v The Union of India and Others

Case No: WP 8927 of 2024




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