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‘Reports misleading’: Kerala CM’s letter to Prashant Bhushan on stray dog culling

Vijayan stated that in a meeting of the concerned departments officials it was decided to set up sterilizations camps for the ferocious dogs from September 1 onwards.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2016 5:47:18 pm
Representational image -Express photo by Jasbir Malhi He further said that the meeting was held following the death of an elderly woman due to dog bites in the state.

A day after Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said he would go to court against the Kerala government’s decision to cull stray dogs, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote a letter to him stating that the reports were misleading. In an open letter, Vijayan wrote, “It is rather unfortunate that even a person of your stature has been carried away by the misleading reports which seek to create the impression that the Govt. of Kerala is on a spree of culling and killing dogs as a whole. I would like to inform you that the truth stands far away from it.”

Vijayan stated that in a meeting of the concerned departments officials it was decided to set up sterilizations camps for the ferocious dogs from September 1 onwards. The sterilization would be conducted only by qualified veterinarians, and that all the specifications such as separate shelter for each dog that undergoes surgery, follow up care and medication etc. should be complied with.

He further said that the meeting was held following the death of an elderly woman due to dog bites in the state.

Following is the entire letter written by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to Prashant Bhushan

Dear Shri Prashant Bhushan,

I am really surprised on seeing your remarks about the action being taken by the Government of Kerala to curb the ever increasing dog menace, which poses a grave threat to the public. It is rather unfortunate that even a person of your stature has been carried away by the misleading reports which seek to create the impression that the Govt. of Kerala is on a spree of culling and killing dogs as a whole. I would like to inform you that the truth stands far away from it.

It is true that the government had convened a meeting of the officials of the concerned departments to discuss the ways in which the menace of stray dogs can be dealt with. The indiscriminate killing of dogs did not even figure in the discussions of the meeting. The meeting held following the death of an elderly woman due to dog bites decided to set up sterilizations camps for the ferocious dogs from 1st September onwards. It was specifically decided that the sterilization should be conducted only by qualified veterinarians, and that all the specifications such as separate shelter for each dog that undergoes surgery, follow up care and medication etc. should be complied with.

It was also specified that the District Collectors should co-ordinate and supervise the comprehensive plan, strictly adhering to the spirit of the 1960 Act of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It was also decided that the required number of veterinary doctors may be deployed for the project on contract basis in addition to the doctors attached to the Government Department of Animal Husbandry. A scheme was chalked out for the effective disposal of solid waste to curb the menace of stray dogs as well.

It is unfair to conclude that the reports relating to the menace form part of ‘paid news’. Reports are neither inflated nor planted. I am sure you will realize the fact if you find time to go through the newspaper reports from Kerala in the last one or two months. Rabid dogs are rattling people across the state and not a single day passes by without the unfortunate event of dog bites. A hapless woman of Neyyattinkara was bitten brutally and she succumbed to her injuries. Stray dogs breed fast and their numbers increase rapidly. They are aggressive and ferocious in packs and people cannot move out even at nights due to this menace.

Consultations are also being planned to enact a policy in the state to effectively deal with this concern, in accordance with the rules and guidelines as laid forth by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the decrees issued by the Supreme Court in November 2015 and March 2016; bearing in mind the well being of animals as well as human beings.

I am writing to you to put the record straight and to inform you that nothing undesirable is happening in the state, with regard to this issue.

With regards,
Pinarayi Vijayan

Vijayan concluded the letter saying that it was written to put the record straight and to inform that nothing undesirable has been happening in the state, with regard to the issue of stray dogs culling.

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