No Decision To Cull Strays
On Jul 28, 2015
|Trivandrum: The allegation by animal activists that the Kerala government has taken a decision at an all-party meet to cull all stray dogs is totally baseless, Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar said today.
“Their subsequent widespread “Worldwide Boycott Kerala Movement 2015” on the social media is based on misinformation,” the minister said, making a strong rebuttal of the allegation.
In the past couple of weeks, the Kerala government and its tourism sector have faced a backlash through social networking sites over the stray dog issue in the state, with a group of animal activists and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) launching an online campaign to boycott Kerala.
The AWBI, protesting the alleged government decision taken at an all-party meet to cull aggressive stray dogs, subsequently called for the boycott Kerala campaign. The campaign, which was also conducted in metros like Kolkata, Delhi and Bengaluru, requests people not to select Kerala as their tourist destination till the government rescinds its decision to kill stray dogs.
“The allegations are baseless; the government has decided to kill only rabid and dangerous stray dogs because of the dangers they pose to people, particularly to children, over the past few months,” said Anil Kumar. “There is no decision to kill all dogs, as mentioned in the online petition.”
It has been decided to start sterilisation in 50 veterinary hospitals with primary facilities across the state, and to implement anti-rabies immunisation in all veterinary hospitals. In the initial stage, ABC will be implemented in 50 centres across 14 districts and this will gradually be taken up in 500 centres.
“I do not believe that the online campaign will affect Kerala’s tourism. The state registers a steady growth in the domestic and international tourist arrivals annually,” said Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao. “Kerala is an animal-friendly and pet-loving state. We will soon implement measures for the registration of pet dogs through local self-governing bodies.”
In fact, the ‘#Visit Kerala’ campaign, initially started by the tourism department to market the state, has been taken up passionately by the local people in response to the allegations.