#BOPS - Much awaited AWBI Circular to DoT
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
During the #BanOnlinePetSales camplaign we worked with both our minds and hearts . Of the many initiatives in the campaign trying to get online giants like Quikr Indiamart Facebook and others to get pets and dogs OFF their online e-commerce sites where it was both illegal and unethical, it is wonderful to know that this legal provision of the Intermediaries Law in the IT Act we highlighted was finally used by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in their circular to Dept of IT & Technology requesting illegal content would be dealt with. This provision allows The Telecom Dept to shut down the erring website for Breaking Indian laws . We had sent a letter to Quikr on this issue in 2018 as well - copy below
Our first petition https://www.change.org/p/goi-pranay-chulet-awbi-ban-online-sale-of-pets-its-cruel-evil-and-illegal got nearly 40000 signatures. The follow up one http://chng.it/zJGsZVpz7b last year when we realised that many websites were still in violation of Indian law, and that Wuikr was using adoption posts as disguise to Allow breeders of agents to sell pups. Online sale is NOT permitted by intermediaries under the Pet Shop Rules 2019
its a major step forward . we hope that AWBI also sends this letter to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook Group et al who are equally culpable .
In a message on Facebook in 2018 #NoMoreBagheeras , I wrote this :
‘For those of us who think that this petition is based purely on emotional reasoning , perhaps but not entirely. Bleeding heart does not always mean bleeding brain . The reasoning is based on LAW, so do read the note below .
Let’s not get into the ethics of breeding or not. I get puppy mills. This post is about online sales . If the uteri of mother dogs need to be commercialised , I hate it, but the law allows it under certain caveats , therefore- so be it. BUT UNDER the rules of PCA ie Prevention to Cruelty Act . So those who presume this is about wringing hands animal lovers, nope, these are just the hard facts . Unless you mean we are now above the law.
The #AWBI Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules 2017 have many good points to prevent cruelty to animals during breeding n sale . A couple of critical points that stand out . Breeding conditions are stringent and only if you pass then do you get an Dog #BreedingCertificate. This certificate is ESSENTIAL for any sale of pups. So a buyer is supposed to ask and a seller is supposed to display . There are about 15 in India ! The quikr site did not ask for these certificates before putting 792 pages of pup listings on line and are therefore breaking the PCA laws. #Illegal
Second, pups CANNOT be sold before #8weeksold . This pups was 3 weeks old . Again , #illegal .
Third, #PublicDisplayOfDogsForSale is only after permission from #AWBI . That is under S.8, 2017 Rules. Conditions for Sale. clause F, S.8(1)(f) . So technically , display of pups online in a public forum contravenes this . #illegal again.
Many many other things I can point out but let’s stay with broadly this .’
One young NLS lawyer in our campaign Gouth Polusamy was able to structure this approach and help us to create some impact . The AWBI circular /Letter to DoT is a welcome and will ensure that e-commerce sites do not promote animal cruelty or break the law .