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Animal Birth Control Rules, 2023

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Agriculture: Animal Husbandry


Source: Th

 Context: The government has announced new Animal Birth Control (ABC) Rules 2023, which require strays to be caught, vaccinated, neutered, and released back into the community.

  • The ABC 2023 rules will supersede the Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules, 2001
  • Previously, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying opened a draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022, for public comment.


Need for such rules:

India has more than 1.5 crores of the stray dog population. Over the last five years, more than 300 people — mostly children from poor and rural families — have been attacked and killed by dogs. Over 20,000 deaths were due to Rabies.

AimTo reduce the stray dog population by addressing animal welfare issues.
Sterilization and ImmunizationThe programme for the sterilization and immunization of stray dogs shall be carried out by the respective local bodies, municipalities, municipal corporations, and panchayats, with the help of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)-a recognized organization.
ABC+ Anti-RabiesLocal bodies need to implement the ABC and Anti-Rabies Program jointly.
Addressing crueltyIn carrying out the ABC program, ‘cruelty to animals’ should be addressed
Community AnimalsThe Rules transform stray dogs into a new class of “community animals.”
Care of stray dogsResident welfare associations are responsible for caring for stray dogs and feeding them at fixed intervals, away from children and the elderly.
Human and Stray dog conflictsThe Rules provide guidelines on how to deal with human and stray dog conflicts without relocating the dogs in an area.
Prohibition The Rules prohibit the improper disposal of solid waste and casual feeding of dogs.
Responsibility Local authorities “will be held responsible for any violation [during birth-control procedures] and animal-human conflicts.”

Significance of the Rules:


The new rules will help in reducing the stray dog and cat population and resolving the Human-Dog conflict.


Issues with the new rules:

  • Homelessness: The ABC Rules do not provide for the rehabilitation of stray dogs, and instead, they are left on the streets after sterilization and vaccination.
  • Responsibility: The ABC Rules place the responsibility of caring for stray dogs on the local residents’ welfare associations, which may not have the resources or capacity to provide proper care.
  • Funding and implementation: There are concerns that the lack of adequate funding and implementation may lead to the rules being ineffective in addressing the stray dog problem.


Ethical Concerns with the Rules:

  • Consent: Animals cannot give their consent to the procedure
  • Pain and suffering: The procedure can cause pain and suffering to animals
  • Effectiveness: Sterilization may not always be an effective method of controlling the population of animals
  • Alternatives: Adopt non-invasive alternatives e.g., Awareness campaigns like “Be a Human, Save a Life” by the Delhi government to encourage people to adopt stray dogs


About Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960:

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 is the first law enacted to safeguard the rights of animals and protect them from pain and suffering caused by humans. It defines animals as any living creature other than humans and outlines punishments for those who inflict unnecessary cruelty on them. It also includes guidelines for experimenting on animals for scientific purposes and the exhibition of performing animals. The establishment of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is one of the key features of this Act.


Insta Links:

  • For the draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022: Click here
  • Constitutional Provisions regarding Animal Welfare: Click here


Mains Links:

Critically comment on the Centre’s move to notify new rules to regulate livestock markets under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA). (200 Words)