In a policy decision taken by Kerala’s Left Front government, the state wants to open dog rehabilitation zoos in all 14 districts to tackle the alarming situation created by ferocious street dogs. However, the step is being opposed by the Centre, the Animal Welfare Board and NGOs. According to them, better results could be obtained by implementing the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules to sterilise the canines. But the state said it was not in favour of implementing the central rules and that it has jurisdiction and power to take a policy decision to create dog zoos, as per a report by Times of India. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and M M Shantanagoudar heard a senior advocate, V Giri, who appeared for the state and said that the government has framed a policy which requires each district panchayat to acquire 2-3 acres of agricultural land and it will be fenced to create stray dog rehabilitation zoos.
The bench said that it would decide the legal framework suited for the purpose of curbing the increase in the number of stray dogs on September 15 but asked the state to take all possible measures to protect citizens from dog bites. When asked on how many people were granted compensation to victims of dog bites, the state government found itself stumped. As per the report, advocate Gaurav Agrawal informed the court that it had so far received 752 claims and adjudicated 154 of them.
The bench took offense at the poor rate of compensating victims and asked the state to file a detailed report on the number of cases which have been declared by the committee as eligible for compensation within four weeks. It also asked to mention the reason why it has not paid many of them promptly.