Directing the civic administration in Madurai city to kill incurable rabid dogs, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) made it clear that it was more concerned about human lives than animal rights.
“We are more concerned about the human lives than the animal rights,” a bench comprising Justices S Rajeswaran and T Mathivanan said while passing interim orders on a public interest litigation petition seeking elimination of rabid dogs in the temple town.
Originally the Madurai Corporation Commissioner R Nanthagopal had informed the court that stray dog menace was efficiently controlled in the city. However, when the attention of the judges were drawn to an Express report that a 16-year-old girl Kaleeshwari had died of rabies after being bitten by a dog, the court summoned the civic chief again.
The judges described the stray dog menace as a dangerous issue and a threat to the public and said dog bite cases were highly prevalent in the city and the Corporation must be well equipped to tackle the dog menace.
The judges also said that the Corporation should control the throwing of leftover eatables by hotels and marriage halls in open spaces.
“If it is done, half of the stray dog menace will be reduced,” the bench said. They also pointed out that stray dogs were freely roaming on the court camps and asked the civic authorities to put an end to the menace.
Further, the court also questioned the Commissioner if adequate medicines for treating rabies were available with them.
Commissioner Nanthagopal submitted that the Corporation would impose a fine of Rs 500 initially for those who dumped eatables in public places.
The fine amount would be increased for habitual offenders. Besides, the civic body would undertake an awareness campaign on rabies, he added.
Recording the submissions, the judges directed that sick and rabid dogs, which cannot be cured, must be killed and posted the case for hearing after three weeks.