A Twitter campaign with the hashtag "#StopKeralaKillings" will be launched on July 1 at 6.00 p.m. to protest against the "indiscriminate killing of dogs" in the southern state. Kerala seems to like killing. Nothing explains the Kerala government's bizarre attitude to man's best friend, the dog. For 50 years after Independence, Indian municipalities were killing street dogs. Yet the numbers continued to remain the same as this is neither a scientific nor sustainable solution.
Finally, the Courts stepped in to halt this needless brutality and India switched over to a sensible WHO programme wherein dogs are sterilised, vaccinated and replaced in their original areas. The ABC (animal birth control) programme was launched in 2001 via a very successful pilot project in Jaipur. It proved that numbers can be regulated, bites ended snd rabies eliminated. Within just a few years, Jaipur was declared a rabies-free city.
Since then, ABC has been adopted with varying degrees of success depending on how well and systematically it has been implemented.
In spite of the ABC programme being available, Kerala continued to kill dogs. In 2015, in a state wide pogrom, almost one lakh dogs were murdered. Following international outrage, Kerala was directed by a court to introduce the ABC programme. Even then, to whom did the state entrust this programme? To a women's empowerment group with no experience of how to run the programme. Only a total of 16,000 dogs were sterilised over four years at a cost of over Rs 2 crores, The Kerala High Court then directed the govermment to close and restart the programme properly.
Instead of doing so, again the Kerala Govt wants to go back to killing-- a failed, regressive policy that has never yielded any results except untold misery to lakhs of sentient beings for no human benefit.
Not only have various Kerala organisations appealed to SC to sanction killing, but even before any court sanction, killings have become widespread throughout the state with people taking the law into their hand.
Openly poisoning formulas and methods are being exchanged on social media chat groups, all manner of torture instruments are being ordered and killing is carrying on openly without any state or police intervention to stop this cruel and illegal brutality.
In one case in Kollam, a mother sheltering her six newborn pups in the home of a woman and her granddaughter, was attacked by a gang of men who broke into the house and beat her to death. The incident was captured on CCTV camera and national outrage forced the police to lodge an FIR. Similar incidents are rife across the state. What it needs is for the State to issue strict notices and directions to the police to take strong action to deter cruelty. Civic organisations like the Church, schools, and local leaders must step in to quell public fears against dogs and publicise the benefits of the ABC programme. And most of all a state timebound sterilisation and vaccination drive must be launched through credible NGOs. Regulating dog numbers, ending bites and eliminating rabies is as simple as ABC.