‘In one month, 100 people were bitten by stray dogs’

A public interest writ petition has been moved in the Kerala High Court against the apathy of the Kochi Corporation and the adjoining local bodies to contain the stray dog menace.

The petition has sought a directive to the local self-government department and Kochi Corporation and other local bodies to take steps to remove stray dog menace on the Kochi streets and adjoining areas.

The petition was filed by High Court lawyer Basil Attipetty. The petitioner pointed out that Kochi Corporation had received more than 100 complaints related to stray dog menace. In January 2014 alone, over 100 people had been bitten by stray dogs in Ernakulam district. Therefore, local bodies should be directed to capture stray dogs from public places.

Stray dog attacks have been reported from Vypeen Island, Elamkunnapuzha, Nayarambalam and Pallipuram panchayats. Recently, a stray dog had attacked a 3-year-old child and bitten off his ear. The child was playing in front of his house when the incident took place. Most of the victims of stray dog attacks were school children and women. Yet another stray dog attack on a child was also reported recently from Tripunithura.

The petitioner said that section 438 of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994 had empowered the municipalities and corporations to capture stray dogs. As per section 11(3) (b) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960, panchayats, municipalities, and corporations could take steps to kill or “exterminate” stray dogs in their areas. However, they were reluctant to take any action to save the people from the menace of stray dogs.

The petitioner also sought a directive to the government to hold secretaries of all the local bodies responsible for cases of stray dog bites in their areas.

He also sought a directive to pay adequate compensation to the victims of stray dog attacks.

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