A college alumni association vowed to give gold coins to civic authorities that kill the most stray dogs in Kerala, where over 700 people have been injured in dog attacks in the last four months, including 175 children.
The Old Students Welfare Association of St. Thomas College in Tiruvananthapuram said the award would be given to the heads of panchayats and municipalities across the state where the most stray dogs are culled, India’s PTI news agency reported.
“We are planning to give the gift to panchayat presidents and municipality chairmen in the state who lead in killing maximum number of stray dogs. Our aim is to ensure the safety of people from violent canines,” James Pambaykkal, Association General Secretary, said, adding that the gold coins would be bought with the contributions, earmarked by representatives of the 1,200-member association.
The weight of the coins is to be decided according to the total amount collected, with Pambaykkal noting that the civic authorities will have to submit day-to-day figures of the culled animals.
Four Kerala residents died after receiving fatal injuries in canine attacks in the last four months. This year alone, as many as 53,000 people had to receive special treatment for dog bites in local hospitals, according to PTI.
Animal rights activists and vets say the anti-dog sentiment in the state escalated following the latest attacks, noting that reducing the dog menace is a challenge.
“People are shouting, ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them,’ but even if you keep killing daily, you can never achieve the zero number,” Kishore Janardhanan, a veterinary surgeon at a government-run dog birth control hospital in Kochi, said