Kill For A Bite: Kerala And Its’ Dog Menace

letthedogsdieA dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself, everyone loves a dog and can imagine a good life with just their dog and themselves. They have managed to surpass humans when it comes to providing comfort, kindness and love. Nothing beats the existence of a dog, as it’s very rare that there is someone present who loves you with all their heart, even after you may have broken their trust or faith.

However, in the state of Kerala, dogs are known much more for their viciousness than their kindness. An elderly lady was tragically mauled to death by a pack of stray dogs, and several other incidents have resurfaced, making the city to reel under the bite-attack of the much loved canines. According to a report submitted in the Supreme Court recently in the connected case, it was stated that more than one lakh people in Kerala have been bitten by dogs in 2015-16. The report also said there were about 2.5 lakh street dogs in the state.

However, with such statistics the state government decided to take a route that crushed one life for the convenience and well-being of others. The state government decided to take the easy way out and do a mass culling of stray dogs, providing relief to people while creating ruckus in the minds of many animal lovers and activists, just like last year.

Yes, the menace is out there, people have died from bite attacks, however, is mass culling ever going to be the answer to protect one population while restricting others?

Though, after an activist filed a plea, the Kerala government has submitted before Supreme Court that they no longer have the intention of killing dogs. Instead, they would now employ an ABC (Animal Birth Control) Programme, so as to ensure the sterilization of stray dogs and control their population.

Sadly, India has not been alone in undertaking the decision of mass culling of stray dogs as a measure to combat rabies and prevent human deaths. Countries like Indonesia and Malaysia have also culled stray dogs recently. This has been despite the fact that mass culling of rabid dogs is not the answer to combating dog rabies nor is it the answer to controlling the burgeoning population of strays.

Apart from the vaccination that can be done to avoid culling, there has to be some serious cultural developments. There are serious ethical and moral consequences associated with end of animal life decisions and the wider community needs to be educated about it. Killing can never be the answer, effective steps must be taken by the authorities and the communities collectively. It’s high time we realize the value of an animal life, they have no lesser values than that of a human.

The menace is understandable, people are suffering at the hands of the animals; animals they have ridiculed, abused and killed. It is nothing but karma teaching a lesson, however how fair is the stance wherein a human decides to kill an animal because its convenience? There are many raping, killing and abusing other humans, should we kill them too? If the answer to tackle dog menace is extensive culling, how do we tackle human menace? Or because we have a luxury (or a curse) to be a human, do we escape from this expedition of mass slaughter?

As Mahatma Gandhi said,

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Yugansha Malhotra

Image Sources:

The Viewspaper