Kochi: In a new trouble that is causing dilemma to the Oommen Chandy headed UDF government, the High Court on Monday has directed the State government to file a statement on the steps taken to tackle the stray dog menace in the State. The court posted the hearing of the case to July 28.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice A M Shaffique issued the order on a petition filed by Adv Basil Attipetty. The petitioner pointed out that the Minister had informed the Assembly that as many as 1.17 lakh persons were attacked by stray dogs in recent times.
Over the last 8 months, 40,000 dog bite cases have been reported in the state where during the last few days, four persons including an eight years old child died after being attacked by stray dogs.
Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, has been pro-active and called an all-party meeting in which he is reported to have said, “The government is committed to protecting the people. We will take strict measures to control the stray dog population. The veterinary department has been given instructions to ensure sufficient vaccination.”
In the mean while what stands as a hurdle in front of the government is prevention of cruelty to animals act and the animal birth control rules of 2001, according to which only dogs which are mortally ill or wounded can be euthanised.
“Dogs suspected of having rabies must be captured and isolated. If rabies is confirmed, they must be allowed to die natural death in isolation. ‘Any animal that is not suffering from an incurable disease cannot be put down,’ emphasised Major General (retd.) RM Kharb, chairperson of the Animal Welfare Board of India.”
The High Court also directed the government to produce details of the high-level meeting held by it to discuss the measures to be taken to curb the menace.