Giving a dog a bad name and hanging it too is what literally happened recently in Kottayam district of Kerala, where a dog, accused of attacking people, was beaten to death and then hanged publicly, following a series of vicious attacks on humans. , including children, in the state.
That wasn’t the only incident, as more than a dozen stray dogs were found dead, allegedly due to poisoning in parts of the southern state.
While these actions seem inhumane, some believe that in the situation in the state, which is seeing an increase in dog attacks, the public cannot be blamed for taking matters into their own hands.
Kozhikode Mayor Beena Philip, who had opposed the killings of wanderers, was forced to change her position later given the prevailing situation in the state. She said people can’t be blamed for what they do.
”When our own children are attacked by dogs in this way, if people react in this way, they cannot be blamed. I am not in favor of killing dogs nor would I justify it. But in the current situation, I can’t blame people either,” she told a television station.
She said if there weren’t so many dog bite cases, maybe a more humane approach could have been taken.
However, last year, when dog bites were not in the headlines so much, a dog was brutally beaten to death on Adimalathura beach in Thiruvananthapuram and hundreds of dogs were reportedly poisoned to death in the municipality of Thrikkakara in Ernakulam.
The Kerala High Court had then intervened to issue a series of instructions for the proper implementation of Animal Birth Control (ABC) measures and vaccination of dogs.
Despite this, he had to intervene this time too to remind the state of its obligation to protect citizens and to warn the general public against taking the law into their own hands.
Amid mounting criticism over the government’s inability to control the dog population or inspire confidence in the effectiveness of the rabies vaccine, the state government and its various authorities have taken steps to address the threat on the war footing.
To allay public fears, the government announced a series of measures, including a statewide mass vaccination campaign from September 20 to October 20 to vaccinate stray and pet dogs and open more animal birth control centers.
“Our plan is to bring the state’s dog population under control by 2025,” said state animal husbandry minister J Chinchu Rani.
She also said the killing of rabid dogs was not permitted as according to the guidelines of the Animal Welfare Board of India they should be tied up and kept in solitary confinement until they die on their own. within 10 days of the appearance of clinical signs of the disease.
Various districts are also taking measures, such as the Ernakulam District Administration’s pilot project of neutering canines in two blocks, to deal with the threat of dog bites.
However, animal welfare organizations like Daya and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) are skeptical of government claims about the number of ABC centers and believe that “they only exist on paper. “. Ambili Purackal, who started Daya Animal Welfare Organization in 2001, and Idukki SPCA secretary MN Jayachandran said killing dogs was not an option just because some of them were biting humans. They said the solution was to properly implement the ABC measures and to vaccinate stray dogs.
Actress Mrudula Murali is of a similar opinion, as she recently posted on her Instagram account against killing dogs. “Stray animals should be housed in shelters,” Murali said.
Purackal alleged that the state government or its departments, instead of approaching animal welfare organizations for ABC measures, as mandated by the AWBI, were trying to carry out the exercise through the Kudumbashree organization which has no expertise in the field.
She also spoke about the difficulties in carrying out mass vaccination campaigns for stray dogs.
”Daya and some other volunteer organizations are currently running a stray dog vaccination campaign in Kochi city at night and despite our expertise, we can only catch and vaccinate 10-12 dogs every day after several hours of running. ” Purackal told PTI.
Jayachandran also said the government has not contacted any voluntary animal welfare organizations for help with the dog capture or the ABC process.
According to Purackal, whose residence is home to about 50 stray dogs, the dogs cannot be blamed for every attack or for causing traffic accidents.
”There is a fear among the public regarding dogs, especially strays, a fear that they could die of rabies if bitten. One of the reasons for this is the death of some people from rabies despite having received a full course of vaccines. Also, the government withdrew a batch of vaccines.
“So when they see a dog on the street, they get scared and in that state of mind they may throw a rock at it or try to chase it away with a stick, which may prompt the dog to fight back.” she says.
Another reason given by her for the nuisance of dogs in certain areas is the improper disposal of garbage and litter, which causes dogs to frequent these places for food.
However, reports of cattle infected with rabies in the past few days and a cow slaughtered in Thrissur district of Kerala after showing signs of the disease do not make things any easier for the best friend of the man.
To top it all off, a few recent road accidents, one of which was fatal, due to dogs running into traffic, have also earned them a bad reputation.
”Dogs are very careful when crossing roads. The only time they might rush into traffic is when they are being chased,’ Purackal said, standing up for the dogs.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)