Regulating Pet Shop Sales of Animals under PCA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
This landmark notification in Sept 2018 coupled with the earlier notified Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules 2017 , set an excellent stage for the overall protection to pet sales and breeding in India within the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act . The tragedy as always lies in its implementation.
Here is the link to the original gazetted notification for the Pet Shop Rules 2018: https://28ce2536-5e23-43eb-ae63-706f1cb20c66.filesusr.com/ugd/9073bd_0e5b2f50762e42d2a1e307d70d9499eb.pdf
Some of the key features of these rules are:
1. No person can operate a pet shop or carry on the business of trade in pet animals without a certificate of registration from the concerned State Animal Welfare Board. Any person already operating pet shops may apply for registration within 60 days from the date of these rules.
2. Any pet shop without a valid certificate of registration, or the failure of the person to apply for the same within a specified time period, will result in the sealing of the pet shop. Animals confiscated from such shops shall be sent to an animal welfare organization recognized by the Board.
3. Application for registration to be made to the State Board with a non-refundable fee of 5,000 INR. A separate application shall be made for every pet shop or any premises being used for the pet trade. Such a certificate shall be valid for a period of five years, non-transferable, and shall be subject to an yearly review.
4. Pet shops registered by the Board shall be inspected by an authorized veterinarian upon receipt of the application. On being satisfied that the applicant and the establishment comply with requirements under these rules, the State Board shall continue the registration.
5. The rules provide standards for accommodation, infrastructure, housing, general care, veterinary care and other operational requirements. These include the elimination of wire mesh for the floors of the enclosures, a health certificate from a veterinary practitioner for every animal on sale, and a written exercise plan for any pup over 16 weeks of age.
6. Every pet shop owner shall maintain a record book with the particulars of breeders and suppliers of pet animals, trade transactions and their details. Records of the customers buying pet animals must also be kept. Additional records required to be kept are “mortality register” and “health register.”
7. On receipt of a complaint for noncompliance of these rules by pet shop owners, an inquiry will be conducted through the local authority or SPCA. Animals found to be ill-treated or sick shall be confiscated and sent to a recognized animal welfare organization for treatment. The pet shop owner shall be liable for any expenses incurred for the care and treatment of such animals.
8. If violations are discovered during the inspection, the State Board shall issue the owners a notice of show cause. The State Board may, if it is not satisfied with the response received, or if no response received from the owners, cancel the registration and communicate the reasons in writing. Subject to appeal, the pet shop may be sealed or registration reinstated as the case may be.
9. Every registered pet shop owner is required to submit an annual report to the State Board detailing the total number of animals traded, boarded or exhibited during the previous year.
The above message is courtesy HSI/India , who with PFA have played a key role in drafting the rules and approaching the judiciary seeking to issue the directions so the Government may notify these rules.