The petitioner sought administration of ‘fatal injection’ to rabid dogs

The Madras High Court bench here on Monday directed Madurai Corporation to submit a report on the steps taken to control rabies in Madurai. A division bench comprising Justices S.Rajeswaran and T.Mathivanan issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation seeking to control stray dog menace in the city.

The petitioner, C.Ezhilarasu, an advocate, sought a direction to the officials to administer “fatal injection” to rabid dogs in order prevent spread of rabies.

Shortage of vehicle

His counsel W.Peter Rameshkumar contended that there were a large number of dogs in the city but only one vehicle was available to transport them to the sterilisation and vaccination centre in Sellur.

The number of professional dog catchers in city was inadequate, he added.

On Monday, S.Murugan, sanitary inspector of Madurai Corporation, appeared before the judges.

Referring to an article published in The Hindu (Stray dogs rule city streets) on July 1, the judges said the dog menace was an issue that needed serious concern.

Citing the details in the article that said the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) received 60 new cases (adults) and 40 cases of children who are bitten by street dogs every day, the judges said, “This is a social menace. We cannot afford to lose the children and elders. Something has to be done since it is a matter of serious concern.”

Referring to a statement made by N.Mohan, Dean, Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH), in the article, they impleaded the Blue Cross, Chennai, as one of the respondents in the petition and ordered a notice.

Permanent solution

Mr.Mohan had said that rabies-infected dogs went on the rampage in the cities, towns and municipalities and that the streets of Madurai could be safe only if Blue Cross and others came out with a permanent solution. The article could be taken as a prima facie evidence for the dog menace in the city, the judges noted.

The judges further instructed the District Collector to submit a report on the availability of medicines in the GRH to treat emergency rabies cases and on the treatment being given to the rabies-infected patients.

“When the rabies-infected dogs are found on the roads, the authorities should immediately eradicate them,” the judges observed.

The case has been posted to July 9.

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