This is a series of posts on Kashmir where getting a head-start into writing has been a nightmare since it seems a highly personalized polarized situation. So we’d refrained comment without any clear evidence in our hands. However now we’re in possession of a bunch of official documents – which we’re digitizing and putting out and asking the relevant questions that arise from them. As with the other writing on ‘The Voice of Stray Dogs’, unless otherwise specified, the article is authored by Rakesh Shukla and expresses the opinion of Rakesh Shukla & The Voice of Stray Dogs, and not necessarily that of VoSD Board members since individual comment/ contribution and consent is not sought.
In Part I of this series we saw the questions that arise out of the meeting between SMC-AWBI-Animal Husbandry where decisions on the location and functioning of the said ABC facilities are decided. Here we look at the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) – Municipal Corporation of Srinagar (SMC) and Dean Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry (Vet College) [download and read the The tripartite MOU AWBI SMC VetCollege]
- Para 1 of the MOU sets out that the parties are entering into an agreement for Animal Birth Control (ABC), to be carried out as per the guidelines under the ABC (Dogs) Rules 2001 for Jammu & Kashmir. It is important to note
- Whereas The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 were published, under sub-section (1) of section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (59 of 1960), and
- Whereas THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT, 1960 (59 OF 1960) (26th December, 1960) says at Chapter 1 Para (2) “It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir”.
- So it can’t be said with certainty that the ABC Rules will be in effect in Jammu and Kashmir and on these ABC Center(s)!
This gives rise to some serious questions on the agreement reached between the AWBI, SMC and The Vet College:
- Before inking this agreement did the AWBI try and ascertain whether the equivalent of PCA and ABC Rules are prevalent in J&K for the same treatment of dogs to be applicable in J&K as applicable in the rest of India?
- If not why was the ‘Statement of Work’ not adequately described and adequate clarity reached in the agreement itself?
- Is it adequate safeguard for the dogs to simply say ABC will be as per the guidelines under the ABC (Dogs) Rules 2001? Which guidelines are these?
- Why were no safe-guards built for the dogs when there is a clearly a gray area in the applicable laws, and when the term guidelines is open to subjective interpretation?
Surprisingly – there seems to be little/ no difference between this agreement and the other MOUs signed by AWBI and that’s surprising since this was especially complicated since this was for Kashmir.