Stray menace: Baig slams 'PETA fundamentalism'

Stray menace: Baig slams 'PETA fundamentalism'

Urban Development Minister R Roshan Baig on Monday slammed PETA activists for blocking the government's efforts to clear cities of stray dogs, saying that the activists will understand the severity of the problem if their children get bitten.

Baig was replying to concerns raised in the Legislative Council on the increasing stray dog population in the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad.

"We've heard of communal fundamentalism and environmental fundamentalism. There's also PETA fundamentalism," Baig said, referring to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a nonprofit. "They'll know if something happens to their children."

PETA has been at the forefront of campaigns to protect stray dogs and has flagged attempts of "illegal relocation" by municipal authorities.  

"Vidhana Soudha is visited by many tourists. When I tried to clear stray dogs, I was bombarded with WhatsApp messages and they kicked up a storm. They gave media statements and held press conferences. We are also human beings. Let them take care of their kids first," Baig said.

The minister quipped that he was scared to ride a motorcycle in Bengaluru. "The stray dogs start chasing you," he said.

JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti, while raising the issue, said it was a "shameful" that schoolchildren get bitten by pigs and dogs in Hubballi-Dharwad. "The twin-cities have given this state two chief ministers," he added.

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