The debate in Kerala over tackling of stray dogs has reached the state Assembly in the wake of the death of an elderly man after a dog attack.
A 90-year-old man in Thiruvananthapuram died after he was attacked by a group of stray dogs at his home. In what was seen as a retaliation to the old manās death, residents of Varkala in the capital, beat nearly 27 dogs to death on Thursday.
On Friday, the matter was discussed in the Kerala legislative assembly, with opposition MLA PK Basheer raising the issue.
What the opposition said
The opposition demanded immediate respite from the crisis, saying that four people had died of stray dog bites in the last four months.
With the public, including women and children, getting hurt across the state, the opposition demanded that the state government take necessary action and not indulge in ābogus talkā.
Raising an adjournment motion, the opposition accused the state government of ācomplete failureā in tackling the stray dog issue.
Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the vaccine lobby had vested interest in prolonging the stray dog issue in the state and should be clamped down.
They also demanded an investigation into the source of funding for animal welfare organizations in the state.
The opposition also argued that the law does not prohibit the killing of dangerous stray dogs.
What the state government said
Minister for Local Self Government KT Jaleel said that the government needs three years to eradicate stray dogs from the state completely.
He said that there were 56 dog catchers including migrant labourers. Saying that there is a shortage in the availability of dog catchers, the minister said that the government will need a period of three years to eradicate nearly 3.5 lakh stray dogs in the state.
Jaleel said that the ongoing court cases on the stray dog problem was posing as an impediment for the state government to carry out dog culling.
The minister said that the government was committed to solving the crisis and that it would provide necessary assistance to local governments.