Government statistics show that 1,60,000 dog bites were reported in the last one year in Kerala.

Dog lovers vs stray dog haters New round of fight begins in Kerala
news Friday, September 25, 2015 - 13:10
Written by  Pheba Mathew


After the incident of killing of 40 dogs in Kannur came to limelight last month, a new controversy has started in Kerala over stray dogs.

The Animal Welfare Board Of India has sent out a letter to the police department asking action against a group called ‘Street Dog Eradication Group’ which provides incentives for killing ‘dangerous’ street dogs.

The point of conflict is stories placed by the group in various newspapers claiming that they will reward people who can kill dangerous dogs.

According to a letter sent by the group to various newspapers, the group was getting ready to handover Rs 500 each to people who killed 7 dogs, reacting to the group’s call.

Defending their act of killing dogs, OM Joy, the President of the Street Dog Eradication Group said, “We only tell people to kill the dogs which are harmful to humans and not to kill all the street dogs. There have been increasing cases of dog bites here in Kerala, so we do not think that we are doing anything wrong by promoting killing of dangerous dogs”.

He added that they have promoted their initiative of killing harmful dogs on various newspapers through new stories and people are also responding and killing harmful dogs in their areas. This organization currently functions from the Ernakulam district in Kerala.

On the other end, S.Vinod Kumar, Assistant Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India has demanded action against the ‘killer’ group under IPC section 428 (killing or maiming an animal), 429 (killing of maiming of cattle) and under sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

A Times of India report said that as per statistics provided by the Ernakulam General Hospital, 75.6% bites were by pet dogs. According to the hospital’s data, among the 1,074 dog bite cases reported at the hospital this year, in 75.6% of cases the culprits were pet dogs. Stray dogs have only bitten around 262 people.

Government statistics show that 1,60,000 dog bites were reported in the last one year in Kerala.  After a major backlash from the public for not controlling dog bites in the State, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy ordered special camps and recruitment of veterinary doctors on contracts for fastening the vaccination drive. "Legally nothing was wrong in killing rabid, dangerous stray dogs," he said.

Recently, the Animal Welfare Board of India filed a petition at the Supreme Court against the 2006 judgment of the Kerala High Court which allowed local self-government institutions to kill stray dogs.