Amid rising menace of stray dogs across the state, the Orissa high court has asked the Cuttack Municipal Corporation to ensure that unruly stray dogs are removed from the campus of the National Law University of Odisha (NLUO) in Cuttack.
Following a petition by NLUO, a division bench of chief justice Subhasis Talapatra and justice Savitri Ratho asked the municipal authorities to remove all stray dogs from the campus within 24 hours.
The NLUO in its petition said Aditya Ray Choudhury, a first year student with 65 per cent disability due to cerebral palsy was chased by the dogs around 15 times and bitten 7 times in the campus in last one month. He was last attacked on August 26 and each time he had to take Anti-Rabies shots.
The NLUO said that the dogs are not original inhabitants of the campus and migrated from the nearby locations like Brajabiharipur, Naraj . “Due to ongoing mating season of dogs, the campus dogs have become even more aggressive. Unless those are relocated to their original habitat, normalcy will not return to the University campus,” the petition said.
Answering a question on ‘the menace of dog bites’ in Lok Sabha this month, Union minister of state for health and family welfare Satyapal Singh Baghel said that Odisha saw 64,642 dog bite cases in 2022 compared to 59,085 in 2021. Last year, Maharashtra saw the highest 3,90,878 dog bites followed by Uttar Pradesh (1.91 lakh), Andhra Pradesh (1.89 lakh), Gujarat (1.69 lakh), Karnataka (1.63 lakh), Bihar (1.41 lakh), Telangana (92,613), Rajasthan (87,401), Madhya Pradesh (65,833) and Odisha.
As per the Livestock Census 2019, Odisha has 17,34,399 stray dogs while Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 20,59,261 street dogs in the country. The number of street dogs in Odisha almost doubled in 2019 from 8,62,520 in 2012. The dog sterilisation drive has been on hold in the state since July 6 following an Orissa high court directive over a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging violation of animal birth control programme norms in Bhubaneswar.