Dog attacks: Kerala govt to move court for change in rules on dealing with stray canines

PTI, Jun 14, 2023, 2:19 PM IST

Image for representation(PTI)

In the wake of increasing reports of stray dog attacks on people, including the death of a differently-abled boy in one such instance, in Kerala, the state government on Wednesday said it will move court seeking changes in the rules on dealing with vagrant canines.

Minister for Local Self-Governments M B Rajesh said the government will also move court for removing the restriction on Kudumbashree, a poverty eradication and women empowerment programme of the state government, from performing Animal Birth Control (ABC) procedures.

The High Court in December 2021 had directed the state government to immediately restrain Kudumbashree from carrying out ABC procedures.

The directions came while hearing of a PIL initiated by the court on its own in the wake of a gruesome killing of a dog which was tied up and beaten to death by some people on Adimalathura beach on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram.

Rajesh, speaking to reporters here, also said people and the media were not acknowledging the measures being taken by the state government to deal with the menace and were instead focussed on blaming the administration.

However, in the wake of several reported incidents of dog attacks from various parts of Kerala in the last few days, the state government has decided to take the legal route for dealing with the stray canine menace.

There were reports of a youth being chased and attacked by stray dogs in Fort Kochi a day ago and a three-year-old girl in Kannur barely escaping from being bitten on Wednesday when stray canines entered the front yard of her relative’s home where she was playing.

On Tuesday, in Thrissur, a stray dog chased a child while he was riding a cycle and while cycling away in panic, he fell down and suffered injuries on his face and lost several teeth.

The child’s father told a TV channel that his son is in ICU and had to undergo plastic surgery.

Prior to these incidents, on June 11, an 11-year-old differently-abled boy was attacked by stray dogs at Muzhappilangad area of Kannur and died due to the grievous injuries suffered in the incident.

Following the incident, there was severe criticism of the government from various quarters prompting it to blame central legislations for not being able to effectively deal with aggressive vagrant canines.

The state government had claimed that certain provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Animal Birth Control (ABC) rules issued under it need to be relaxed for effectively dealing with the nuisance posed by stray canines.

It had further claimed that it was taking all precautions and measures to prevent such tragic incidents and would also move the Supreme Court again seeking permission to kill stray dogs which pose a threat to human life.

The government had said that its Local Self Government and Animal Husbandry departments were working together to vigorously carry out sterilisation and vaccination of stray dogs in the state.

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