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September 25, 2015

HSI/India Welcomes Order by Kerala State Police Chief for Action Against Illegal Street Dog Cull

Humane Society International

  • Photo by Erin Van Voorhies

Responding to a letter written by the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Kerala State Police Chief has issued directions to all district police chiefs to initiate legal action against illegally catching and killing street dogs. Humane Society International/India’s managing director, N.G. Jayasimha, issued the following statement in response:

“The relocation and killing of street dogs is not only inhumane but also illegal. We welcome the move by the state police and hope that the district police will initiate action against street dog culling now. Animal birth control and anti-rabies vaccination is the only way to humanely control street dog overpopulation. Humane Society International is eager to work with the government to implement a statewide ABC /ARV program.”

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  • 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.
  • Specifically, under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, street dogs are to be sterilised, 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 sterilisation and vaccination. Incurably ill or mortally wounded dogs can be put to death, and only in a humane manner.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Media contact: Navamita Mukherjee, nmukherjee@hsi.org, +91 9985472760

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