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One step closer to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2016

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Posted on December 28, 2016: “De-beaking, tail-docking, feather plucking, nail clipping, de-clawing and other cruel practices are rampant in pet shops. Pet stores often sell un-weaned pups, and house animals in deplorable conditions with no veterinary attention for fatal illnesses or even for the general wellbeing of these animals. In-breeding, lack of proper nutrition and lack of opportunity to express normal behaviour are also common.” Humane Society International – India lays out these findings from their investigations into conditions across pet shops in India. It is horrifying and shameful that we continue to create demand for purchased pets and hence allow for animals to be treated like commodities. But not for long…

Last week, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change announced the government’s intention to notify rules for pet shops at a press conference in New Delhi. These Rules, tentatively titled Pet Shop Rules 2016, will fall under the umbrella of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and will mandate the registration of pet shop owners with state animal welfare boards. The Rules will regulate the capture, housing, breeding and transportation of animals at pet shops.

"The entire sector is unregulated. Now, the state animal welfare boards will register them after inspections. The rules also define space requirements and other basic amenities to keep the pets. It will also be mandatory to maintain records of sales, purchase, sick animals and death of animals in the pet shops", environment minister Anil Madhav Dave told the gathered press while announcing the government decision.

The general public is invited to comment on the draft rules available on the MoEF website.

HSI-India and People For Animals have played a pivotal role in drafting these Rules and having the Law Commission review them. Gauri Maulekhi, trustee at PFA and government liaison for HSI/India said in a statement, “We commend the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for their foresighted policy that will prevent tens of thousands of animals from abuse in the pet shop industry. We urge the Centre to notify these rules soon and duly implement them to ensure that animals are not subjected to cruel treatment at the hands of illegal pet shop owners.”

Now is the time for animal lovers and pet parents to get behind this welcome legislation. Like, share, comment and spread the word!

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