85-year-old mauled to death by stray dogs in Kerala, body partially eaten
The latest incident has triggered fear that people will take law into their hands and resort to mass killing of stray dogs once again.india Updated: Apr 08, 2017 18:12 IST
Stray dogs killed and partially ate an 85-year-old man in Kerala, police said on Saturday, the latest human victim of feral canines in the state grappling to contain their growing numbers.
The victim, identified as Kunhikrishnan, was missing since Friday and his body recovered on Saturday from a paddy field in Thiruvananthapuram district’s Attingal.
“Preliminary reports suggest that he was attacked by dogs. Details will be available only after the post-motrem,” said a senior police officer.
The incident triggered fears that angry people resort to mass killing of stray dogs, a method which have found many supporters in the state where four people were killed by packs of canines last year.
Animal rights activists led by Union minister Meneka Gandhi have been opposing culling of stray dogs.
Hundreds of people are bitten by stray dogs across the country every year but Kerala is said to be the worst affected with an estimated 2.5-lakh feral dog population.
At least one lakh people were bitten by stray dogs in the state in 2015-16, a Supreme Court-appointed panel said in July last year.
Last year, the state government ordered the killing of stray dogs but was forced to withdraw the directive following opposition by animal lovers.
The government the instructed local bodies to implement animal birth control programmes for the stray dogs.
Since most of the local bodies don’t have the required infrastructure and facilities for sterilisation, they usually resort to quick means of culling and poisoning, inviting the wrath of animal lovers.
The Supreme Court had also restrained vigilante groups in Kerala from culling stray dogs and distributing subsidised air guns to kill the canines. The court, however, allowed the government to cull dogs under stipulated rules.
The alumni association of a prominent college had offered to gift gold coins to civic authorities who killed the maximum number of stray dogs. Cash incentives were also offered by a state-based industrialist to people for culling dogs.