Hyderabad: For the first time the Government of India has notified pet shop rules. If implemented appropriately, the rules could stem the cruel practices rampant in the pet shop industry. This is the first ever regulation for increasing welfare of animals sold in pet shops. The ministry of environment, forests and climate change notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) rules, 2018 in the wake of a series of representations made by Humane Society International/India and People for Animals, apprising the ministry of the cruelty found in the pet shop industry.
An estimated 40 per cent of animals die in captivity or during transportation. Pet shops often violate the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 by blatantly selling wild animals. They are transported and traded to meet the demand of the pet shop industry and are kept in inhuman conditions.
These animals are typically denied complete veterinary care; puppies are separated from their mothers soon after birth; birds, rats, mice, hamsters and guinea pigs are stuffed in small cages without access to adequate water or food. Other common harmful practices include mutilation in the form of de-beaking, tail-docking, feather plucking, nail clipping and de-clawing.
According to the notified rules, an application for registration is to be made to the State Board with a non-refundable fee of Rs 5,000.
A separate application shall be made for every pet shop or any premises being used for the pet trade. Such a certificate shall be valid for a period of one year, non-transferable, and shall be subject to review.
Ms Gauri Maulekhi, trustee at PFA and government liaison officer for HSI/India, said, “Animals sold in pet shops are treated as commodities and the cruelty they are subjected to at the hands of shop owners is unthinkable. The situation in pet shops demanded a crying need for a regulation and we are pleased that the Government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change supported us in identifying the issue.”...