Alleged killing of stray dogs lands municipality in controversy

The killing of a still unspecified number of stray dogs at Thrikkakara in Ernakulam, allegedly at the behest of the municipal authorities, has led to allegations by animal rights activists of cruelty to animals. They have sought an investigation into the incident and remedial measures as per rules governing welfare of animals.

Meanwhile, the Opposition LDF councillors accused the ruling UDF coalition of straying from the established rules of controlling stray dog population.

Around 30 dog carcasses were reportedly exhumed on Saturday from a municipal waste dumping yard. Some of them had been subjected to post-mortem to ascertain the cause for death. It is alleged that the dogs were administered poison injection. The post-mortem results are expected on Monday, said animal rights activist T.K. Sajeev, who is also the secretary of the Ernakulam unit of Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

M.K. Chandrababu of the CPI(M) and Opposition Leader in the 42-member municipal council alleged that the health wing of the municipality had a pact with a group of dog-catchers from Kozhikode to kill stray dogs. The problem had not been discussed in the council or any other forum, he claimed.

Municipal Chairperson Ajitha Thankappan of the Congress said the municipal authorities, including herself, were not aware of the killing of dogs. She said on Sunday that she learned about the incident through the media, and that it was quite a shock to her. She added that the municipal authorities had only followed the rules governing behaviour towards animals, and that sterilization of stray dogs was a step to contain their population.

She also said that she had not received any complaint of problems caused by stray dogs of late.

Mr. Sajeev said animal rights groups were alerted by residents of Eechamukku, which falls under Ward 16 of the municipality, of dogs being trapped and killed last week.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 9:07:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/alleged-killing-of-stray-dogs-lands-municipality-in-controversy/article35528355.ece

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