SC refuses to stay killing of stray dogs in Kerala

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New Delhi:  Disapproving the mass killing of stray dogs by the Thiruvananthapuram civic body, the Supreme Court , however refused to stay it and said the killing of the dangerous dogs and those inflicted with rabies should be guided by rules.

Declining to pass an interim order putting on hold the killing by Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation (MCT), a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice PC Pant said that the killing of the stray dogs should be guided by the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001.

“These rules have not been declared unconstitutional. If rules are there, then they have to be followed” and any killing of dogs has to done according to the rules, said the bench as senior counsel appearing for the Kerala government said that the State high court has held that the rules go beyond the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

The court directed the listing of all the related matter for hearing on November 18, as advocate Archana Sharma told the court that apex court has already stayed the operation of similar orders by the three high courts including by Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh High Courts.

Urging the court to stay the order, PIL petitioner Anupam Tripathi said that the Kerala home minister has justified the killings of the stray dogs saying that there was nothing wrong in it, and that no action should be taken against the killers of the dogs.

Senior counsel Dushyant Dave who is amicus curiae in the matter told the court that two-wheeler riders are the worst sufferers and “I have seen people falling” when they are chased by the street dogs.

Pointing to the cases where new born children were taken away by stray dogs, Dave told the court a person bitten by a stray dogs has to take three injections and they are so expensive that they are beyond the reach of a common man.

The apex court had on October 9 sought the response from the central and Kerala governments on the plea seeking immediate halt to the killing of street dogs by the MCT.

The culling was being carried out in Kerala following an all-party meeting in July where it was decided eliminate more than 2.5 lakh street dogs.