HC directs govt. to clear stray dogs from public places

SPC told to spread message among people not to take law into their hands and harm dogs

September 14, 2022 07:18 pm | Updated September 15, 2022 09:14 am IST - KOCHI

A pet lover taking his dog for vaccination in Thrissur on Wednesday.

A pet lover taking his dog for vaccination in Thrissur on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: K.K. Najeeb

The State government is duty bound to ensure the safety of people by clearing violent stray dogs from public places, a Division Bench of Kerala High Court observed here on Wednesday.

Relying on a report by the amicus curiae about the unauthorised killing of “community dogs”, the court said the rights and interests of citizens vis-a-vis that of animals ought to be protected. It directed the government to issue a circular to the State Police Chief (SPC) to spread the message among the people not to take the law into their hands and harm such dogs, since the government has already said that it is committed to solving the stray dogs issue.

In addition, it directed the government to clarify the steps it has taken to contain the menace posed by these dogs, following interim orders that had been passed in August 2021 and July this year.

Special sitting

In a special sitting held in the wake of reports of innumerable instances of stray dogs biting people in different districts, Justice A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice P. Gopinath made the observations during the hearing of a suo motu case regarding the beating to death of a stray dog on the Adimalathura beach in Thiruvananthapuram a year ago.

The interim orders had mentioned, among other things, the need to sterilise and vaccinate stray dogs and to establish rehabilitation centres for stray dogs in Trikkarakara and other areas. Moreover, the State Animal Welfare Board ought to initiate steps to sterilise such dogs at the level of local bodies.

It must also publish on its website details and phone numbers of 24x7 veterinary clinics whose emergency services can be availed of, including at late night hours.

The Additional Advocate General on Wednesday stated that a detailed report regarding steps taken to contain stray dogs will be submitted before the court on Friday.

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