Kerala that has seen several instances of ruthless killing of stray dogs is now planning to buid zoos for these canines to keep them off the streets. According to a report in Times of India, Kerala government is planning to implement the policy decision to open dog rehabilitation zoos in all the 14 districts.

Responding to the query of the Supreme Court judges, senior counsel V Giri representing the state said the government will ask all district panchayats to keep aside 2 or 3 acres of land and notify these areas as “stray dog zoos”. However, the move has been opposed by the Centre, Animal Welfare Board and NGOs who want Kerala government to follow Animal Birth Control (Drugs) Rules to sterilise the stray dogs.

Senior advocate Anand Grover, appearing for an animal welfare association, said “What the State is planning to do with these dog zoos? These dogs will become even more ferocious and their population will increase.” Instead, he suggested that the Kerala government embrace the Centre’s Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules of 2001 which emphasise on sterilisation and immunisation of stray dogs.

The proposal for setting up stray dog rehabilitation zoo (SDZ) was first mooted in 2016 in a meeting convened by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. However,department of agriculture and animal husbandry had expressed strong reservations about the feasibility of the plan. Kerala is witnessing a huge problem of stray dogs overpopulation. These dogs vary from a few lakhs to half a million and reports of their feral nature or rabid temperament also abound. Last year, gory stories of dog attacks made rounds in the state while one stood out for its garishness. Last year a 65-year-old woman was reportedly mauled by a pack of dogs in the state, after which a group of men retaliated with no less fury, they killed a dozen dogs and brandished their dead bodies in public.