Gives Priority to Human Lives Over Stray Dogs: Kerala HC

Stray Dogs

Recently, the Kerala High Court expressed the view that priority should be given to the lives of human beings over stray dogs.

It directed the State government to establish guidelines, schemes, or rules for granting licenses to individuals interested in caring for stray dogs so that dog enthusiasts can safeguard the animals.

The court observed that students are afraid to go to school alone due to the fear of stray dog attacks. It also noted that if action is taken, dog lovers may protest. The nuisance caused by stray dogs is escalating, and the court emphasized that dog enthusiasts should be cognizant of this fact.

Justice PV Kunhikrishnan suggested that genuine dog lovers should collaborate with local government institutions instead of expressing their concerns through print and visual media to aid in protecting stray dogs.

Additionally, the judge directed the government to engage with the central government and formulate guidelines or schemes if necessary.

This directive was issued in response to a petition filed by residents of Muzhathadam in Kannur seeking action against Rajeev Krishnan, who was housing stray dogs on his property. The court further directed Krishnan to apply for a license within a month, and the Kannur Corporation was instructed to issue the license under strict conditions as per the law.

The court also suggested that if Krishnan fails to submit the license application, the corporation should take measures to remove the stray dogs from his premises.

In July 2023, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights sought to intervene in the case, citing numerous complaints about the nuisance of stray dogs and incidents where children were fatally bitten by them. The commission informed the court that it had taken suo-motu cognizance of several such incidents.

In its application, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights highlighted the significant number of reported dog bite incidents across the state, particularly involving children. It cited statistics indicating a rise in the number of cases over the years, from 5,794 cases in 2019 to 6,276 cases reported up to June 19, 2023.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte