WHEN ANIMAL RIGHTS BITE HUMAN RIGHTS

Dogs are the most faithful animals to the human beings. But, recent developments in Kerala proved it contrary. Even, unfaithfulness of stray dogs had gone so extreme that Writ Petition has been filed in Kerala High Court to control it. Also, the division Bench of Kerala High Court held that Local Self Governments needed to take steps to kill the stray dogs in the interest of general public only in accordance with the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and rules made there under. In addition, the Court observed that strict implementation of Government order regarding vaccination and sterilisation of stray dogs along with eight directives to address the menace.

But, in November 2015 the Apex Court requested the High Court and District Courts not to pass any order pertaining to the Prevention of Cruelty Act, 1960 and 2001 rules. The Supreme Court, also, observed that “there can be no trace of doubt that there has to be compassion for dogs and they should not be killed in an indiscriminate manner, but indubitably the lives of the human beings are to be saved and one should not suffer due to dog bite because of administrative lapse”. The court also has asked all the Local Self Government bodies and Animal welfare Board to file affidavits regarding the issue.

In March 2016, the Supreme Court remained silent on the question of culling stray dogs and took the balance approach to sterilize and vaccinate stray dogs under supervision of Animal Welfare Board of India using provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for controlling its population and rabies.

In August 2016, activist lawyer Prasant Bhushan wrote a letter to Kerala Chief Minister regarding the approach for culling stray dogs and conveyed that it would be contempt of the Supreme Court order(November, 2015) of complete stay on culling if they will go for it.

The State Government is thinking of culling stray dogs as everyday various Kerala News Channels are showing rampant menace of the stray dogs. Recent news of an old lady of 65 years age being eaten and killed by the stray dogs has pricked the conscience of whole nation, though Prasant Bhushan shrugged off this news as fake in his letter to Kerala Chief Minister.

But, these recent news have certainly raised the issue of the clash between human rights and animal rights once again. Are sterlization, vaccination and culling the only methods to stop this peril or are there any other approaches to curb this threat to human beings?

Feel free to share your views in comment section.

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