Here’s how pets can get a better life | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Here’s how pets can get a better life

Cruelty towards animals should be punished with harsher penalties. New laws have been drafted to ensure people don’t ill-treat pets. These should be implemented.

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2017 10:22 IST
HT Correspondent
pet cruelty

(Hindustan Times)

Currently, beating up, maiming and even killing a dog is punished with a fine of just Rs50 — an amount fixed way back in 1960, when the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was first tabled. Naturally, offenders have gone scot-free. Three years ago, the Animal Welfare Board of India decided to look at the guidelines again. Here are the draft guidelines of the new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 2016.

PET SHOP RULES

The draft guidelines aim to make pet shop owners more accountable and monitor them to ensure animals there are treated well:

Getting pet shops registered: This will be mandatory. When an application to set up a pet shop reaches the state, a board will inspect the shop and a team with officials, a vet and a representative of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will inspect the shop

Licences: The certificate of registration issued by the state board will be valid for two years, and can be renewed after paying a fee Rs5,000

Where pets are kept: Pet shops cannot be set up as shacks, on the pavement or as make-shift arrangement

Better care of animals: Pregnant animals and unweaned offspring cannot be displayed or sold. A pet shop cannot breed animals or sell any that will be used for food, skin or accessories

Full disclosure: The species, the numbers of animals, their prices and the name and address of breeders have to be prominently displayed on the all enclosures holding the animals

Microchips on pups, kittens: All puppies and kittens on sale have to micro-chipped by a veterinary practitioner. Pet shops should be equipped with microchip readers. The microchips act as a form of registration and will also come in handy if the pet is abandoned or lost

Records: Pet shops must maintain records of sales, purchases, deaths of animals in the shop and sick animals, among others

Annual reports: Pet shop owners will be required to give the state a yearly report about the animals, sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited

Penalties: The draft rules propose that any violation be punished with the registration of the shop being cancelled and the animals being confiscated. These animals will be sent to a rescue centre recognised by the board

The draft has guidelines for dog breeding and marketing too:

Registrations: Breeders have to apply and register themselves. The state will inspect the breeder and his establishment. Every breeder must prominently display the certificate of registration in the establishment

Renewing registrations: Application for renewal need to be made 30 days before it expires. The state won’t renew the registration of a breeder unless the board is convinced with the breeders

Inspections: The draft rules propose regular inspections, and that the board has the right to access all areas in a breeders’ establishment, take pictures, record videos and make copies of records

Conditions for sale: No breeder can sell pups that are less than 8 weeks old. Dogs older than six months must be sterilised before they are sold. Pups should be microchipped and a complete record of their treatment and vaccination should be maintained

Records: Breeders must maintain the health and medical records of all animals in the establishment

Annual reports: Breeders, too, must submit an annual report of the animals sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away or exhibited