House expresses concern over stray do menace, but a solution will take time

Minister K. T. Jaleel responding to notice for adjounrment motion on FridayThiruvananthapuram: Minister for Local Self Government K. T. Jaleel told the Assembly on Friday that the government was taking all steps to check the menace of stray dogs.

Responding to a notice for moving adjournment motion given by P. K. Basheer (Muslim League), the Minister said that there were, however, many obstacles. It may take one, two or three years to check the menace.

He said that four cases were pending before the Supreme Court on the issue. Dog catchers were not available and the government was trying to train dog catchers through Kundumbasree.

He said that all panchayats were required to draw up plan projects to control stray dogs through sterilisation. So far 514 panchayats had formed monitoring committee and about 3000 dogs had been sterilised. Funds were being allocated to district panchayats and corporations for control of the population of dogs.

He said that four persons had been killed by dog bits. More than 700 persons including 175 children had been hospitalised on being attacked by dogs in four months.

Several members including the Minister criticised Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for demanding that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act should be used against those killing dogs. About 50000 persons had taken injections of rabies vaccine following dog bites this year.

The adjournment motion said that the government had failed to check the stray dog menace and people were in the grip of fear and insecurity.

Mr. Basheer said that the parents were afraid to send their children to school. Practical measures were needed to check the menace.

He also demanded that the source of funds of SPCA should be enquired into. How they could engage senior lawyers to argue against killing of stray dogs before the Supreme Court, he asked.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the hands of ‘vaccine mafia’ were to be suspected behind the cases against killing of dangerous dogs. Rabies vaccine worth Rs. 200 crore was being sold in the State annually.

As many as ten persons had been killed by stray dogs in ten months. However, government’s plans to control them were yet to take off.