The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered vigilante groups in Kerala to stop killing stray dogs and directed the state government to take action against them.
Considering the stray dog menace in Kerala the SC in September had observed that compassion for stray dogs cannot hold a society to ransom. “Compassion should be shown towards stray dogs but … these animals cannot be allowed to become a menace to society. A balance needs to be created for dealing with such situation,” The SC had said.
It has been reported that since August more than more than 100 stray dogs have been culled by residents in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kottayam. In a horrific incident in October, locals beat around 50 dogs to death a day after a 90-year-old man who was sleeping on his verandah was mauled to death by some strays in Varkala.
A businessman based in Ernakulam, Jose Maveli, is leading stray dogs eradication groups and claims that he is on a mission to save his home state from transforming from “God’s own country” to “Dog’s own country”.
When the Animal Husbandry Department had submitted photos of the killing of stray dogs by some organisations in Kerala to the Supreme Court, after examining them, the court asked whether people are killing stray dogs for celebration.
The SC had said that life of a human being is more important than that of a rabid dog. However, such moves cannot be accepted. Only actions sanctioned by law should be taken.
The SC had also slammed the Kerala government for inaction leading to huge increase in the stray dog population, which posed a grave threat to humans and livestock and forced people to definitely kill them.
A majority of people in the state are aggrieved by the inaction of authorities in the matter of containing the dog menace to an acceptable level. Schoolchildren and women have been witnessed to be easy targets for dogs. Dog bite incidents are being reported daily in the state.
This year, 53,000 people had to take treatment for dog bites in government medical college hospitals alone. As many as 88,172 suffered dog bites in 2013 while it was 1,19,119 in 2014 and 47,156 in 2015 in the state.