The Kochi Corporation on Wednesday informed the Kerala High Court that it had been unable to take steps to tackle the stray dog menace in the city owing to lack of facilities.

In an affidavit, A.S. Anuja, Additional Secretary of the corporation, said that in order to implement the plan, a plot had been identified at Brahmapuram and an estimate of Rs.14 lakh had been made for the purchase of the required materials.

Response to PIL

Expressing concern over the stray dog menace, the affidavit said that action had been taken to control the menace. The official said that the Kerala Panchayat Raj (Licensing of Pigs and Dogs) Rules, 1998, had been formulated by the government to minimise incidents of stray dog attacks.

Section 438 of the Kerala Municipalities and Corporations Act empowered the local bodies to seize stray dogs in their respective areas.

The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest writ petition complaining about the failure of the corporation to take steps to check the menace of stray dogs.

In his writ petition, High Court lawyer Basil Attipetty said that over 100 persons had been bitten by stray dogs in Ernakulam district in January alone.

Stray dog attacks had also 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 contended 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.

The petitioner sought a directive to the government to hold secretaries of all the local bodies responsible for not checking the stray menace in their areas.

He also pleaded for a directive for paying adequate compensation to the victims of stray dog attacks.

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