The Kerala Government has told the Supreme Court that it will set up zoos for stray dogs in its districts in a bid to rehabilitate them. Dogs in Kerala have increasingly become a menace and a threat to humans and other animals. According to the government, they have framed a policy which makes it mandatory for district panchayats to acquire 2-3 acres of agricultural land for the aforementioned purpose.
However, the Centre, along with the Animal Welfare Board and NGOs opposed opening dog zoos stating that keeping a check on rising dog population would perhaps yield better results, provided the state government implemented the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rule to sterilise canines.
The state, however, is not in favour of it and wants to have power to take a policy decision to create canine zoos. The apex court said it will examine the legal question as to whether the 2001 Dog Rules, framed by the Centre, would prevail over the state laws.
The court has also expressed its unhappiness at the rising number of dog bites and attacks in the state and has asked the government to take steps to find a solution.
The court also expressed unhappiness over increasing cases of dog bites in Kerala and asked the state government to take steps to ensure that such cases are checked.
A bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Mohan M Santana Goudar wondered as to why such cases were more prevalent in Kerala. According to the legal counsel of dog bite victims, 1.16 lakh people had been affected in the State and 22 died. The alarming number of stray dogs and dog attacks across Kerala in the recent years had resulted in the state government proposing to mass cull the strays, a move which was opposed by various animal rights groups.