Central government mulls ban on dangerous dog breeds including rottweilers, pitbulls, American bulldogs

Recent incidents of fatalities resulting from dog bites have prompted citizens, forums, and animal welfare organizations to advocate for regulatory action.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 13, 2024 | 8:00 AMUpdatedMar 13, 2024 | 10:26 AM

stray dogs

In response to growing concerns over public safety, the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying is deliberating on a potential ban on certain ferocious breeds of dogs commonly kept as pets.

An expert committee constituted by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying has identified certain breeds of dogs as ferocious which are dangerous for human life.

Recent incidents of fatalities resulting from dog bites have prompted citizens, forums, and animal welfare organizations to advocate for regulatory action.

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Expert committee recommendations

The committee was formed under the chairmanship of the Animal Husbandry Commissioner with representation from various stakeholders and experts following a writ petition filed before the Delhi High Court in October 2023 seeking a ban on dangerous dog breeds.

The court, in its directive dated 6 December, 2023, had urged the government to address the petitioner’s concerns expeditiously, emphasizing consultation with stakeholders.

The dog breeds identified by the committee as ferocious and potentially hazardous to human safety include pitbull terriers, Tosa Inu, American Staffordshire terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, American bulldog, Boerboel, kangal, Central Asian shepherd dog (ovcharka), Caucasian shepherd dog (ovcharka), South Russian shepherd dog (ovcharka), Tornjak, Sarplaninac, Japanese Tosa and Akita, mastiffs (boerboels), rottweilers, terriers, Rhodesian ridgebacks, wolfdogs, Canario, Akbash dog, Moscow guard dogs, Cane Corso, and every dog of the type commonly known as a Ban Dog (or Bandog).

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Committee’s recommendations

Based on the committee’s recommendations, the ministry proposes to prohibit the import, breeding, and sale of these dog breeds for any purpose.

The ministry has also urged local authorities and the Department of Animal Husbandry to not issue licenses or permits for the sale or breeding of these dogs, while owners of existing pets falling within these categories have been asked to have them sterilized to prevent further breeding.

The initiative aligns with existing legislation, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018.

Implementation of these rules has been entrusted to the local bodies, state animal welfare boards, and the Department of Animal Husbandry.

(Compiled and edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)