GHMC officials pay no heed to illegal sale of pets

The corporation is blaming the animal welfare board for the delay in the registration process

Hyderabad: Officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) are allegedly “hand in glove” with illegal pet shop owners and have not seized any establishment though a deadline given by the state government has ended on December 31.

Some 67 out of the 70 pet shops in the city are unregistered, but these have been selling pets. These shops are allowed only to sell the feed, for which the corporation had given them the trade licence.

Based on advice from special chief secretary Arvind Kumar, the GHMC had said it would crack the whip against pet shops that were not registered with the state animal welfare department.

The 70 pet shops have no mandatory registration under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shops) Rules 2018. As per these rules, no person should sell or trade in pet animals, whether retail or wholesale, or establish and operate a pet shop or any other shop engaged in sale, purchase or exchange of pets without obtaining a certificate of registration from the animal welfare board.

As per the rules, pet shop owners must ensure general care of animals and veterinary care and meet other operational requirements.

Against this backdrop, Kumar asked the GHMC and the veterinary and animal husbandry department in June last to close all such pet shops if they failed to comply with the rules in four weeks’ time. However, citing various operational problems, the corporation extended the deadline by a month and the final cut off date was December 31.

The corporation is blaming the animal welfare board for the delay in the registration process. The corporation neither seized any errant establishment nor issued any notice of seizure.

A senior GHMC official said the corporation cannot seize any pet shop when the registration process was on. Out of 70 pet shops, three got registered and the remaining were yet to give the application for this. “After verifying the records with the board, we would seize all the errant pet shops, he said.

However, GHMC sources said the officials already have a list of registered pet shops but are dragging their feet.

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