Taking a serious view of the growing incidents of stay dog attacks on people, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday directed officials to take urgent steps to catch stray canines with the help of trained dog catchers.
He gave the direction during a meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram to discuss measures to overcome the stray canine menace against the backdrop of the death of a 65-year-old woman after being attacked by a pack of dogs at Pullivilla coastal area near here on Sunday night.
The meeting decided on initiation of comprehensive steps to tackle the problem with the cooperation of various state departments. In areas where the street dog menace is serious, the canines would be trapped immediately and subjected to sterilisation.
Special dog-sterilisation camps would be held for this, an official release said.
As a follow-up action, a detailed plan would be worked out on a long-term basis to check stray dogs in accordance with the law from October 1.
Respective district collectors would be in charge of monitoring the progress and implementation of the plan. With the cooperation of civic bodies, street dogs would be caught and sterilised. Later, they would be kept in separate shelters.
The meeting also discussed the possibility of holding dog- sterilisation camps at the block level at least ten days in a month.
Health Minister K K Shailaja, Forest Minister K Raju and Home Secretary Nalini Netto were among those who attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Local Administration Minister K T Jaleel said strong measures would be taken to get rid of canines creating havoc on streets and that there was no legal bar in killing violent dogs.
Life of a human being is more valuable, he said.
"There is no legal hindrance for killing violent stray dogs. Lives of the citizens are of prime importance for a government," Jaleel told reporters in Nedumbassery near Kochi.
65-year-old Siluvamma was the latest victim of the continuing stray dog menace in Kerala. She was attacked by a large pack of dogs on the Pulluvila beach at nearby Kanjiramkulam and succumbed to injuries while being taken to a hospital.
The issue has been a point of debate in Kerala for the last few years after an increase in incidents of stray dog attacks and was also raised in the Assembly earlier this year.
According to a report submitted in the Supreme Court recently in a connected case, more than one lakh people in Kerala have been bitten by dogs in 2015-16.