Thick human inhabitants, poor pet tradition feed Kerala’s stray canine menace

The incidents of canine bites are rising at an alarming stage with school-going kids and senior residents subjected to vicious assaults by stray canines, which can find yourself being deadly as nicely

Opposite to a preferred saying, it’s ‘the canine biting man’ that’s making information and grabbing headlines in Kerala each day. The incidents of canine bites are rising at an alarming stage with school-going kids and senior residents subjected to vicious assaults by stray canines, which can find yourself being deadly as nicely.


The federal government has introduced a one-month-long vaccination drive for canines beginning on September 20 that may go on until October 20. Pet canines in houses can even be included on this drive. MB Rajesh, the Kerala minister for native self-government and excise, has additionally introduced that the federal government will discover all potential methods to implement each vaccination and ABC (Animal Start Management) programmes on a battle footing.

What makes Kerala weak

There are a number of components that make Kerala extremely weak to stray canine bites.

Although the Kerala authorities is but to consolidate information on the entire variety of incidents of canine bites within the state, the dying fee figures are certainly troubling. In 2022, over a interval of eight months, 22 folks have died of rabies. Eleven folks died of stray canine bites in 2021 and 5 in 2020.

The federal government is but to consolidate information on the entire variety of canine bites, in keeping with the reply given by the federal government within the Meeting. On September 1, 2022, the earlier minister for native self-government knowledgeable the Meeting that the involved departments haven’t consolidated information on canine bites, the variety of folks getting injured and the variety of highway accidents prompted attributable to stray canines. Rajesh, the current minister for native administration, has now stated the method of knowledge consolidation remains to be occurring.

Additionally learn: ‘Kerala has turn out to be canine’s personal nation’: SC takes up stray canine menace difficulty

The challenges going through ABC

In 2021, the Kerala Excessive Courtroom imposed a keep on the switch of funds to Kudumbashree, the ladies’s self-help collective, for the implementation of the animal contraception programme. Kudumbashree was the company authorised to implement animal contraception, for catching canines and taking them to the veterinary centres for sterilisation. In July 2021, the HC, primarily based on a report of the amicus curiae, instructed stopping the switch of funds to the company, agreeing with the argument that the Kudumbasree staff are usually not educated for the work.

As per the ABC guidelines laid down by the Animal Welfare Board of India, solely educated personnel ought to be roped in for canine catching.

“The ABC programme within the state has come to a halt by this order from the excessive courtroom. That is one main purpose that has led to nowadays state of affairs,” Rajesh instructed The Federal. Additional, he identified the federal government has introduced the difficulty to the Supreme Courtroom’s discover and a choice on this matter is anticipated by subsequent week.

Excessive inhabitants density

The inhabitants density can also be one other key issue that performs a task in amplifying the road canine menace in Kerala, as in comparison with the opposite states. “The interplay between avenue canines and folks is way larger in Kerala as a result of excessive inhabitants density stage. We hardly have barren lands and the road canines reside in thickly populated areas,” defined an animal welfare division official.

In line with consultants The Federal talked to, solely lower than 30 per cent of canines profit from the contraception programme.

“The foundations set by the Animal Welfare Board of India are very stringent. For implementing ABC, we have to have air-conditioned surgical procedure rooms and every canine is required to be accommodated for no less than 5 days after the surgical procedure. A centre/surgeon is permitted to carry out solely 10 surgical procedures a day. To accommodate the canines for 5 days, we want a minimal of 50-60 cages. Facilitating such an infrastructure on the block/panchayat stage isn’t straightforward,” stated Dr R Venugopal, deputy director of Kerala animal husbandry division.

Additionally learn: Kerala: Lady bitten by stray canine dies in hospital

Vaccination is vital

Venugopal, who has 26 years of expertise in dealing with the road canine menace, felt that vaccination is more practical and sensible than ABC in Kerala.

“We now have a shortage of educated individuals too. Prior to now, catching canines was achieved in a merciless method. Later, the legislation turned stringent and such outdated strategies vanished. Although now we have a whole lot of volunteers to handle important conditions akin to floods or COVID, these identical folks can’t deal with this type of work. Catching a canine with out injuring the animal requires coaching,” stated Venugopal.

The animal husbandry division has collected the information on ‘hotspots’ or the place a lot of canine bites are reported. “We now have recognized 170 spots throughout the state which reported greater than 10 canine bites a month. The preliminary focus for vaccination, in addition to ABC, will probably be concentrated in these sizzling spots,” the animal welfare division official instructed The Federal.

Pandemic impression: Consultants

There was an exponential rise within the variety of avenue canines after the COVID lockdown. “Over the past two years, the canines have turn out to be fearless roaming round freely since that they had not encountered human beings on the roads. That is one purpose the canines are attacking folks,” Venugopal instructed The Federal. Different components too contributed to the weird spurt on the street canine inhabitants, stated consultants.

“There was a 20 per cent spike in avenue canine inhabitants. Folks purchased pet canines in massive numbers as they had been spending time principally at house, however after COVID they’ve let the canines roam free on the streets since they aren’t capable of deal with them anymore,” added Venugopal.

The human effort concerned in animal contraception could be very restricted in comparison with the sheer variety of canines multiplying on the streets. “One feminine canine can provide start to 10 canines in a 12 months. The pet turns into a mature canine in a single 12 months and begins reproducing. In such a state of affairs, vaccination of canines is way extra sensible and efficient than animal contraception,” stated Venugopal.

Poor pet tradition

Officers within the animal husbandry division additionally felt that pet tradition wanted to enhance. The variety of pet canines that get vaccinated is lower than 40 per cent. “Folks let pet canines go on the streets freely. The pets, that are educated to stay to the boundaries of their house and given rest room coaching and correct vaccination, principally belong to city houses. Such canines don’t even represent 20 per cent in Kerala,” identified Venugopal.