The Kerala High Court reminded the State Government on Wednesday in the case of Bruno (Suo Motu) Public Interest Litigation of its responsibility to safeguard residents from attacks by vicious stray dogs in light of the frequent dog bite incidents being recorded around the State.
The State government was ordered to submit a report on the measures it intends to take in this respect, including for detecting, containing, and removing aggressive canines from public areas, by a division bench comprising Justices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Gopinath P.
The Court ordered the government to give instructions to guarantee that the populace does not enact legislation on their own after taking note of the Bar’s arguments regarding the unpermitted slaughter of communal dogs.
The Court made the ruling during a special session that it called in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) regarding animal cruelty that it had started suo motu in July 2021 in response to news reports about the alleged cruel and inhumane killing of Bruno, a pet labrador dog, by three minors on the Adimalathura beach in Thiruvananthapuram.
The case was later renamed by the Court to In Re: Bruno (Suo Moto Public Interest Litigation Proceedings initiated by the High Court in the matter of executive and legislative inaction of the State Government in the matter of Protection of Animal Rights)
The Court had issued a number of orders throughout the previous year regarding the following subjects:
- launching awareness campaigns to influence public opinion
- Clarifying the regulations for pets in apartment buildings
- the State Animal Welfare Board being reinstituted
- holding adoption events and enhancing animal shelter facilities
- establishing clinics and improving infrastructure at facilities that can perform Animal Birth Control (ABC) procedures on neighborhood dogs
The Court noted in its order today that these directives were issued to monitor the ABC procedure’s implementation throughout the State with a view to control the proliferation of community dogs and to ensure that they were properly immunised against contagious diseases.
By September 16, when the matter will be discussed again, the State government is anticipated to submit a thorough report on the stray dog problem. The number of stray dog bite incidences in Kerala has been on the rise, and many of these tragedies have resulted in the deaths of unlucky residents, including children.
Twelve-year-old boys and girls have reportedly been bitten by stray dogs in the previous two months alone. The younger child ultimately died from her wounds.
In order to stop rabies infections, the Keralan government has announced that it has started widespread vaccination efforts for stray dogs throughout the state. Meanwhile, claims of numerous stray dogs being intentionally poisoned were reported to have been discovered dead in various places.
The Supreme Court is also concerned about the stray dog problem; on Friday, the court made an oral recommendation that the Kerala government seek to establish a compromise to address the stray dog problem and balance it with animal rights.