Dog's Own Country? Kerala Legislators Discuss Stray Problem

The Kerala government says sterilisation is the only way to counter the stray menace.

Thiruvananthapuram: God's own country is fast becoming dog's own country, contended the legislators in Kerala at a discussion today on the trouble over the stray dogs in the state.

Large-scale killing of stray dogs have been reported from various parts of the state following local's claims of increasing incidents of dog bites.  The dog bite problem has spiraled over the last two years as the number of strays in the state has reached over 2.5 lakh.

During a 22-minute discussion today during the Question Hour, Health Minister KK Shaileja clarified the government's stand, saying sterilisation was the only way forward.

"All stray dogs cannot be killed according to existing laws. The only way to contain the number of strays is sterilizations. The procedure has begun and it's a slow process, but the only way," the minister said while replying to questions.

A police case has been registered against a businessman, Boby Chemmanur, based on complaints by locals. According to the complaints, Mr Chemmanur has been catching stray dogs in Kozhikode and transporting them to his private fenced property in Wayanad.

Several dogs caught by him subsequently, were chained in an area allocated by the Kozhikode corporation temporarily.

"I am working in the interest of humanity," Boby Chemmanur told NDTV. "I was told that the government is taking steps to control the threats by stray dogs but nothing has been happening and that's why we forced to take this measure." He added that he would seek the High court's permission for catching dogs.
But the businessman has won the backing of the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who while addressing the Assembly said, "Anyone who is coming forward to help in this issue should only be encouraged."

Animal activists are set to file a contempt case in Supreme Court, stating instances of increasing dog killings, with even small children witnessing them in Kerala.