- Kerala's violent stray dogs have been in the news for some time now, especially the government's attitude towards the issue.
- The state government decided to cull street dogs after several instances of attacks by dog were reported from across the state.
- Since then, several instances of the mass killing of dogs have made Kerala a focus for animal-rights protests
In yet another instance of mass culling of stray dogs, 30 street dogs were reportedly killed by members of of Kalady panchayat. Several instances of stray dog attacks were reported from the area and even school children suffered injuries from canine attacks.
As the issue took a turn for the worse, panchayat members unanimously decided to kill violent street dogs in an attempt to ensure safe passage for people. Panchayat members said they were ready to face any legal action over the issue.
The body of the canines were displayed in front of panchayat office and later buried together.
On Monday, Kerala Congress (M) youth wing paraded through the streets of Kottayam district with the carcases of dogs tied on poles - an incident that triggered nation-wide condemnation.
Police registered a case against 15 activists under Sec 429 (committing mischief by killing the animals) of the Indian Penal Code and Sec. 11 of Prevention of Cruelty against Animals.
In yet another incident, On 16 September, police arrested Gils Periappuram, a Councillor of Piravam in Ernakulam, for killing ten stray dogs.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) condemned the act and said the barbaric act is a blatant violation of laws, including Constitutional rights, prevailing in the country.
N G Jayasimha, AWBI activist and managing director of Humane Society International urged the state government to tackle the issue by initiating measures acceptable under Animal Birth Control (ABC) Rules, 2001, and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
"The Supreme Court had ordered that there must be compassion towards street dogs and they must not be killed indiscriminately. The court also directed states to implement ABC Rules," he said. He also said that culling is not effective in controlling dog population.
The stray dog menace became a significant issue in Kerala after a 65-year-old woman was mauled to death by a pack of street dogs in Thiruvananthapuram.
Following this, several instances of stray dog attacks were reported throughout the state, and the government decided to kill violent stray dogs. However, the government later withdrew its decision after animal rights activists, the Union Centre and AWBI raised objections against the decision.
A report from Animal Husbandary Department shows that 51,000 cases of dog bites were reported till August, 2016.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:02 PM IST