Karnataka High Court quashes central govt’s ban on 23 ‘ferocious’ dog breeds, citing lack of stakeholder consultation.

This country seems to be swinging back and forth between polarised groups in society who either love or hate dogs. I observe a lack of scientific analysis and very little (if at all) understanding of the root causes of the problems. This gets reflected in political and policy decisions. Everyone seems to have a personal opinion on which governance decisions seem to be based, announced and soon overruled or revoked again.

Effective solutions are possible, as has been demonstrated both in India as well as abroad. But it is of concern that those in power do not consult experts and stakeholders before they take decisions. Whether it is at grassroots or at national level, we often face uninformed top-down decisions and single issue measures that do not keep context nor cause-effect in into consideration. At best these decisions have no impact, at worse they aggravate the problem.

Unfortunately, effective cross-sectoral policies portraying a range of interwoven policy instruments that holistically work towards improving both human and animal welfare are far from reality. Confusion and frustration on all fronts continues. Problems related to perceived nuisance, serious risks and a continuation of violations of rights remain unresolved.

I don’t know if I agree or disagree with the ban on certain dog breeds, but I am glad that the Court points out this flaw in the decision making process. It is time that good governance prevails and that matter-experts and stakeholders in the animal welfare sector are taken serious, for the benefit of everyone!