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India Moves to Ban Import, Breeding of “Dangerous” Dogs

India considers banning 'dangerous' dog breeds like Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Terriers, Wolf dogs, and Mastiffs due to public safety concerns. Central government urges states to refrain from issuing licenses for their sale and breeding. Current owners must sterilize their pets. Delhi High Court directs strict enforcement of animal welfare rules. Identified breeds include Pitbull Terrier, Tosa Inu, American Staffordshire Terrier, among others. Court emphasizes promoting indigenous breeds.

Fearing for public safety, the government is exploring a ban on several dog breeds deemed high-risk. This potential ban targets Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Terriers, Wolf dogs, and Mastiffs.

Central Government Contemplates Ban on ‘Ferocious’ Dog Breeds

In response to a surge in fatalities resulting from attacks by aggressive dogs, the Central government is contemplating a sweeping ban on the import, breeding, and sale of numerous “ferocious” breeds. Among the breeds under consideration for prohibition as pet dogs or for any other purposes are Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Terriers, Wolf dogs, and Mastiffs, deemed perilous to human life.

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has reached out to states, urging them to refrain from issuing any licenses or permits for the sale and breeding of such dogs.

Guidelines for Current Owners of These Dogs

The department emphasized in its letter that dogs from these specified breeds already kept as pets must undergo sterilization to prevent further breeding.

In accordance with a directive from the Delhi High Court, the government has urged states to ensure strict implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Pet Shop) Rules 2018 by local bodies and state animal welfare boards.

Identified Dangerous Breeds

The officially identified breeds, which also include mixed and cross breeds, consist of Pitbull Terrier, Tosa Inu, American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Boesboel, Kangal, Central Asian Shepherd Dog, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, South Russian Shepherd Dog, Tornjak, Sarplaninac, Japanese Tosa, Akita, Mastiffs, Rottweiler, Terriers, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Wolf Dogs, Canario, Akbash, Moscow Guard, Cane Corso, and any dogs commonly known as Bandog.

This development follows a report submitted by a committee of experts and animal welfare bodies in response to the Delhi High Court’s order on December 6, 2023. The court had instructed the Union of India to expedite its decision regarding a representation to ban and revoke licenses for “dangerous” dog breeds like Pitbulls, Terriers, American Bulldogs, and Rottweilers.

During the hearing, the court emphasized the importance of promoting indigenous dog breeds known for their sturdiness, stating, “Indian breeds need to be taken care of. They are far more sturdy. They don’t fall sick that often because they have acclimatized. Today we are vocal for local.”

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