The rising cases of cruelty against animals prompted the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to issue fresh notice under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018.
The notified rules and regulations says “No person shall carry on or continue the business of sale or trade-in pet animals, whether retail or wholesale; or establish or operate a pet shop, or any other establishment engaged in sale, purchase or exchange of pet animals by whatever name called, without obtaining a certificate of registration.”
Not only this, the registered pet shops have to send reports about the number of animals sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded, exhibited, died or euthanised. The pet shop owner should maintain a book of record in the shop itself, which has basic information about breeders and buyers.
The rules further added that “ It is compulsory to microchip every puppy by a veterinary practitioner, and the shops must have a functional micro-chip reader within the premises and in reference to the above rules only micro-chipped puppies will be sold.
According to the rules, the owners of pet shops need to ensure that the animals are not kept on display or in a cage or is housed in accommodation that is not suitable for the species.
The shop should have all basic amenities such as water, electricity and be situated 100 metres away from butcher shops or abattoirs. It should be located in a permanent structure or building, with a separate section to quarantine animals that are unwell.
Pune365 spoke to animal activist and lovers to gauge their view on the new guideline of pet shop owners.
Nitesh Khare, Founder and President of SAS (Society For Animal Safety) India, says Registered pet shops are not permitted to showcase the pups in a cage or keep them in the shop for sale.
They have to submit an annual report to the state board for every animal they have or sell. According to the rules issued, it is compulsory that every puppy should be microchipped. Some pet shops sell the best microchip cat flaps to cat owners to ensure their safety.
As per the official guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Pet parents or buyers need to ensure that they don’t support cruelty and ensure the legal documents before buying the pet.
Throwing light on the situation in Pune, Khare says, Our team has sealed many breeders who had kept puppies and dogs in an unhealthy atmosphere or in cages without food and water.
Some cases are under process with respect to puppies kept for sale and on display in the shops. If any pet shop is found selling the puppies illegally, his shop will be sealed by the team under this rule.
Things to keep in mind before buying a pet from a pet shop
- Check if the puppy is microchipped, If he is the shop owner, he will have a paper containing the necessary information about it.
- Get his microchip checked with a vet.
- Check if he is KCI ( Kennel Club Of India) registered
- Obtain the necessary information about the puppies parent.
- Ensure you transfer the papers from the shop owner to your name.
- Pet license is important and mandatory
Khare further adds that their team is dedicated to animals in Pune. If any individual comes across any cruelty against any animal, they can surely report a case on SAS India, Pune and the team will get in touch with the individual.
In my opinion, One should always opt for the adoption of puppies instead of going to breeders. There are many homeless, abandoned and stray dogs in Pune, he added.
The rule is a relief to many pet lovers in the city, says Preeti Agarwal, Owner of Petville, From exotic birds to fancy breeds, all were being sold just to cater to demands without even thinking about the upkeep it takes to care for them.
It’s heart wrenching to see cats and dogs cramped in a display cage without food and water, all to lure clients…
I feel there is a dire need for not only the pet shop owners, but we as humans to understand that pets are not commodities.
Agarwal further shares, The demand for fancy breeds are on the rise and this rule, if implemented well can make sure that the dogs are kept in good condition and not suffering in anyway.
I also think the officials should do surprise visits and keep a tab on the pets used for breeding.
Microchipping will help to a certain extent, but there are breeders who are also selling without papers for several years. Not only revoking the license, but a large fine may help curb this.
Strict import policies should be in place for pedigrees. There is a lot that need to be done in this field. From strict policies to importing pedigrees and buying these breeds, a lot that needs to be examined well.
However, In addition to the rule, I also wish that a rule is introduced for buying and adoption for consumers. Once a pet is bought or adopted, it should not be abandoned, Preeti added.
The measures about to be taken by the authorities will play a crucial role in animal welfare. says Pratik Waradhe, volunteer.
But the more important thing is awareness among the people about safety precautions or the points notified.
The problem is implementation; It would next to impossible to execute this on these lines as there is no practical control over this industry. The Government needs to allocate more money and effort for the regulation and it should be given the same importance as human beings.
And when people are aware of what is good for their pets, they will start demanding this and hence is awareness is most important, Pratik added.
It is relief for pet parents too, as it can really help locating the pup if it even runs away from home. Many lost pets end up trying to survive on the roads as their parents are not able to trace them.
Now, with microchipped puppies, it becomes that much easier to unite them with the owners, says Rohit Adiwal, Pet Parent.
Adiwal further says, Almost all the puppies are kept in a cage and on display with other fancy birds etc often without food and water. It was very heart wrenching to see them caged like this.
By issuing this circular and proactive work from SAS India, it will really be a huge relief for the innocent animals and the people who care about them.
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