Villagers complain she lets off cattle, dogs on streets

An animal welfare activist, C. Sunitha Christy, was arrested and remanded in judicial custody on Saturday for allowing herds of cattle to damage crops in fields of neighbours and using abusive language. Ms. Christy was also charged with criminal intimidation.

The police said Ms. Christy, a member of People for Animals, had been keeping cows and oxen that were rescued on their way to slaughter houses. She had also given asylum to over 10 dogs with skin diseases and a few other animals, including donkeys and horses.

Local people had been complaining about the cattle that were let off freely on the streets feasting on the crops in nearby farms.

“Whenever the villagers question them, she picks a quarrel with them and abuses them,” P. Selvam, a resident, complained.

He said that the woman and her mother could not maintain the animals. “Neither there is adequate space for the animals at her house nor they are provided with fodder,” he alleged. The dogs with diseases were not given any medial care.

“The cattle and the dogs enter the house and eat our food. Two of our children were bitten by the dogs,” he complained.

Rosalpatti panchayat president S. Sethuraman said the woman threatened using the names of “powers that be” in New Delhi. “She stoutly refuses to follow our advice to keep the animals indoor,” he said.

The dogs were causing health hazard. “The local people went to the police twice, but she managed to threaten everybody,” he said.

Virudhunagar rural police on Saturday arrested her based on a complaint lodged by one Malliga after the cattle destroyed crops on her field. “Since none of the cattle heads had ropes on their neck and nose, we could not control the animals. The oxen with huge horns were a threat to the lives of the residents,” Mr. Selvam said.

Sub-Inspector of Police Arunkumar said the police had warned her not to allow the cattle and the dogs on the road.

But, she did not heed any of the warnings of police, he complained. She had in her custody over 35 cattle heads and several dogs, he added.

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