Union minister for environment, forest and climate change Anil Madhav Dave has said that the Kerala government has to follow the “rule book” when it comes to handling stray dog menace in the state.
“We are not a terrorist state to let a few people go on the rampage and kill all stray dogs. It is the responsibility of an elected government to make sure that the Constitution of India and law of the land are respected by one and all,” Dave said to THE WEEK.
Two days ago, 26 stray dogs were killed at the Chengamanadu panchayat in Aluva, near Kochi. The panchayat representatives led the drive to cull the stray dogs. This was in clear violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and also in contempt of the Supreme Court, which had stated its stand time again on the matter.
Dave declined to comment on the interactions between Union minister Maneka Gandhi and the Kerala government on this issue. He said he would take an appropriate stand on the matter when it officially reaches his ministry.
Animal lovers in the state argue that mass killing of stray dogs is not the solution. It is the friendly dogs that are caught mostly, while the rest become aggressive and see humans as predators.
Said the singer Chitra Iyer to THE WEEK, “What some people in Kerala are doing cannot be justified. It is horrifying how a so-called intellectual populace can stoop so low and resort to such cold-blooded killings of an entire breed of dogs based on random incidents.”
The local administration has assured action. Said K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla, district collector, Ernakulam, to THE WEEK, “We have registered cases against people who killed stray dogs in Aluva. Legal proceedings against them will not stop. People should not take law into their hands.”
Jose Maveli, head of a stray dog eradication group in Aluva, was arrested by the police for assisting illegal killing of harmless stray dogs there. He is out on bail. “I have not killed any harmless stray dog,” Maveli said to THE WEEK.