The Kerala Government on 10 July 2017 informed a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra that it is planning 'Stray Dog Zoos' across the state to keep them off the streets.
For this purpose, the State government has asked all district panchayats to keep aside two to three acres of land and label them as ‘Stray Dog Zoos’.
The State government was responding to a question from the Supreme Court on the construction of shelter homes for the stray dog population.
The population of stray dogs has increased aggressively in the state over the years and has become a dangerous presence on the streets, especially after dark. Today, there are over 1.16 lakh dog bite victims in the State and 22 have died due to dog bites.
Animal Welfare Board of India's response on Stray Dog Zoos
However, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and animal welfare activists refused to be convinced by the solution Kerala has arrived at concerning stray dogs.
The board opines that these dogs will become even more ferocious and their population will increase in these zoos.
Instead, the board suggested that the Kerala government should embrace the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules of 2001 which emphasise on sterilisation and immunisation of stray dogs.
Supreme Court's verdict on the stray dog menace in Kerala
After listening to both the sides, the Supreme Court ruled that it would examine the legal question as to whether the 2001 Dog Rules framed by the Union Government, will prevail over the state laws meant to curb the menace of stray dogs.
The Supreme Court bench will hear the batch of pleas related to dog menace on 15 September 2017.
What are Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules of 2001?
The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules of 2001, framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, are aimed at eradicating the threat of rabies and reducing man-dog conflict.
The Dog Rules were framed in line with the Animal Birth Control programme of World Health Organisation (WHO) which provide that instead of culling the dogs, they should be sterilised and immunised.
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