Kozhikode: An online campaign calling for boycott of Kerala tourism to protest the UDF government’s decision to cull “rabid and dangerous” stray dogs has gained momentum with several animal lovers joining it and voicing their concern against what they call a ‘barbaric decision.’
The campaign - a faceless protest, according to the campaigners - calls for boycott of all Kerala products and tourism till the government stops open and discreet culling of dogs.
As part of the campaign, a poster is being circulated widely through social networking sites and email. It calls for a world-wide protest on July 26 in cities across the country. People are adding details of their cities and pledge their presentation. The target areas aare schools, colleges, Kerala houses, markets and tourism hubs.
According to some of the campaigners, the State government and the Tourism Ministry have been given two weeks to decide if they still want to go for the mass culling, despite the ‘mass protest’. The campaigners say the decision permanently damages the image of the country. It also warns that the people in the State would suffer economically because of the government decision as the campaign would hit the tourism sector of the State.
The campaigners also ask people to sign a petition and ask others to do, which, they say, would directly tell the authorities that people have participated actively by choosing not to come to Kerala. “This petition is targeting the government's inaction and unlawful activities of Kerala and not the people.”
“This is the only way of making the government see our concern and the pain of the speechless animals. We need 1,00,000 signatures to move the court of Law to intervene and put an end to this barbarism,” say the campaigners.
They claim they have already got around 50000 signs.
The State government, in a bid to check the growing menace of street dogs, had on July 10 decided to cull “rabid and dangerous” dogs across the State.
An all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy entrusted local self-government institutions with the task.
The conference agreed that the stray dog menace had spiralled out of control. It posed a clear and present threat to public life. At least 90,000 people were menaced by several dogs last year, according to a conservative government estimate.
They included infants, women, students, pedestrians, senior citizens, early morning walkers and two-wheeler riders.
The meeting opined that existing laws and court orders were not against killing of stray dogs that have rabies or those that cause a threat to society.