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9-year-old boy mauled to death by stray dogs in Andhra Pradesh’s Balijipeta

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In a shocking incident, a nine-year-old boy has been mauled to death by street dog in northern Andhra Pradesh.

The victim, identified as R Jaswanth, was rushed to the hospital, but succumbed to injuries on the way. He was a Class III student in the government school in his village. He was a resident of the Ammapalli village near Balijipeta, about 150 km north of Visakhapatnam.

Jaswant was reportedly going to a farm in his village when the attack happened, news agency ANI reported. It is not clear what caused the dog to attack the boy.

Stray dogs have been reported as a menace from different parts of the country in recent years. The issue has been an especially hot-button topic in Kerala. In that state alone, the number of reported cases of people bitten by stray dogs was a whopping 53,000. In May last year, a 50-year-old fisherman succumbed to his injuries after being mauled by a pack of stray dogs in Trivandrum’s Pulluvila. Prior to that, a 75-year-old man was found dead after being allegedly attacked by a pack of stray dogs in Kerala’s Attingal.

Before that, stray dogs were seen as a massive problem in Bengaluru, where a child was killed by a pack of dogs.

More recently, stary dogs have been reported as a menace in as wide-ranging laces as Delhi, Noida and Odisha’s Bhubaneswar. They have also been reported to have become an issue in Punjab’s Nabha, Karnataka’s Mysuru, Pune in Maharashtra and Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir.

The most common response of local administrations has been mass culling campaigns, that are usually met with outrage from animal rights activists. They advocate mass sterilisation drives as a more humane alternative to killing the dogs en masse.

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