The Supreme Court on Friday sought a detailed report from the Uttar Pradesh government on alleged culling of dogs, reported ANI. The bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and MM Shantanagoudar was hearing a petition against the alleged rampant culling of stray dogs in Sitapur district after 14 people have been killed over the past few months.

The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, which had approached the court to stop the killing of dogs, said the Indian Veterinary Institute report clearly said that there was no evidence that the dogs attacked children. The petitioner said that investigations have revealed that the children were attacked by wild animals and not stray dogs.

At least 14 stray dog attack-related deaths have been reported since November. Experts believe shortage of food after the crackdown on illegal abattoirs may be a reason for the aggression among dogs. “Earlier when the abattoirs were operational, the dogs used to get food in form of leftovers,” RK Singh, the director of Indian Veterinary Research Institute, told ANI. “But, with the closure of the abattoirs, there was a shortage of food for the dogs.”

Chief Minister Adityanath had announced the setting up of a committee to curb these attacks. The state government had said that personnel would be given drones and night vision binoculars to monitor stray dogs.