N. G Jayasimha, Managing Director of Humane Society International (HSI)/India said, “We are happy that the Kerala High Court reinstated the need for ABC program, something we have been advocating since the very first day the crisis of Kerala street dog culling made news. A successful sterilization program is the only solution for high street dog population and not killing. This will also help mitigate human-animal conflict and control rabies threat.”
In the past few months, the street dog issue in Kerala had spiraled out of control due to some individuals and anti-street dog groups who have been instigating the community to adopt illegal ways of controlling dog population. Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and animal welfare organizations such as People for Animals (PFA), HSI/India and others have been working with the support of Kerala State Government and law enforcement agencies in ensuring implementation of the ABC program to curb the street dog population in the state. Last month, the Government of Kerala with expertise from AWBI and HSI/India organized a massive training for vets and paravets who can proficiently execute the sterilization and anti-rabies drive.
1. • In July of this year, the State of Kerala proposed large scale culling of street dogs. The proposal was based on a misreading of the law and HSI urged the use legal means spelled out by the Central Government to address street dog overpopulation
2. • Specifically, under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, street dogs are to be sterilized, vaccinated and subsequently released into the same area, from where they were captured. These Rules also requires sick dogs to be treated prior to their sterilization and vaccination. Incurably ill or mortally wounded dogs can be put to death, and only in a humane manner
3. • Mass vaccinations, an essential part of the programme, have shown to substantially reduce the spread of rabies in dogs, and thus to humans. The World Health Organisation has recognized the use of vaccinations as the most effective way to control rabies
4. • The Constitution of India gives precedence to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 over state and local laws
5. • On October 26th, 2015, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India reiterated that the Kerala stray dog issue has to be handled in accordance of the ABC rules, 2001
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