While Kerala has already been heckled for being an inhumane country for stray dogs, an alleged report on the state giving its strays away to China for its annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival is further harming the reputation of God’s Own Country.
According to Wildlife Planet, Presidents of various gram panchayats in the Ernakulam district have their own plans to address the apparent dog menace, and that involves cashing in on the demand for dog meat in countries like China and South Korea. A resolution was allegedly passed at a meeting of the Ernakulam District Panchayat Presidents’ Association, by the President of Edakkttuvayal Gram Panchayat, K. R. Jayakumar. “In my proposal to counter the menace of stray dogs, I suggested that we should utilise the opportunity. We should export stray dog meat to generate foreign money. People in northeast and countries like China and South Korea consume dog meat on a large scale. If we export canines to these countries, we can address the problems of stray dog attacks on humans,” says Jayakumar in a report by Wildlife Planet.
N G Jayasimha, Managing Director, Humane Society International, India, has expressed his displeasure over this idea to counter the dog menace. “I request you to instruct the Panchayats to abide by the law and ask them to channel their time, energy and resources in legal, scientific and humane methods as per the Animal Birth Control Dog Rules 2001, to control stray dog population and not resort to illegal, unscientific and illogical ideas such as trade in dog meat,” said Jayasimha in a letter to Kerala Panchayats and Social Welfare Minister, M K Muneer.
Yes, Kerala does have a stray dog menace, but is turning these animals into fodder for inhumane festivals like Yulin, the right thing to do? As N G Jayasima has said, birth control and other humane methods need to be adopted, instead of opting for the easy way out.
A petition has already surfaced to make the panchayat leaders change their minds, with more than 2000+ signatures till now. Please check it out here if you are interested in helping.
The news is still in its early stages, and The Sherp will keep you updated on the latest happenings.