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Indian Pet Shops selling pet livestock may now have to follow a set of proposed guidelines drafted by the Central Government of India. The move aims to better the conditions in which animals are sold in pet shops and also attempts to regularize the Pet industry in India.
Although no deadline has been yet declared and the noble mission is still in proposal stage but for the custodians of animals, this is a glass half empty or half full situation because even if such a Utopian law comes into affect it still does little or nothing for a large stray dog population in India. However the current move does offer some hope to the emancipation of animals in general and particularly an amendment of the Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Draft rules formulated by the centre on December 16th, 2016, focus on preventing any act of cruelty or suffering on animals kept in pet shops. The highlights of the proposal include:
The environment minister, Anil Madhav Dave is of the opinion that the entire pet shop business is a highly unregulated sector and is mushrooming with little or no accountability.
The proposal with all its fundamental rules has been uploaded on the environment ministry’s website encouraging suggestions by states, stakeholders, experts in the field as well as general public for deliberation within a period of 30 days. The rules will be notified by the environment ministry after the suggestions are reviewed. The notification will be made under the current PCA Act, 1960. If a pet shop owner fails to adhere to the rules, the registration of its shop will be cancelled. The pet animals housed in said shop will be taken away and rehabilitated in an Animal Welfare Organization or a rescue centre recognized by the State Board.
Procedures like tail docking are banned in many nations however it is still carried out in native pet shops. Also ear-cropping, debeaking, feather plucking, and declawing among other unethical practices are prevalent in pet stores all over the country. A statement issued by HSI/India brought to light these shocking findings that makeup an unregulated pet business.
People for Animals (PFA) and Humane Society International/India (HSI/India) have played a significant role in shaping up the proposal. Both these animal welfare groups have since long championed the cause of animal rights. These organizations have tirelessly worked towards ending the horrors associated with pet trade and have also highlighted the suffering of animals being transported in cramped cages without sufficient food or water. It has been further noted that pet shops go against the principles of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 by blatantly trading exotic and indigenous wild animals.