Chennai-based animal welfare activist Antony Rubin recently wrote to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami asking the state government to enforce the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules.
The rules, notified in September 2018, regulate and monitor pet shops, the conditions in which the animals can be housed, the welfare of the animals, maintaining a record of breeders, suppliers, customers, and so on. Under these regulations, a pet shop cannot legally operate unless the owner or institution registers and receives a license from the state Animal Welfare Board. Failing registration – which owners are given 60 days to do after the notification of the rules – the shop can be sealed.
Antony in his letter gave the example of Karnataka, where Karnataka Animal Welfare Board (KAWB) informed the High Court on February 5, 2020 that it had issued a notice mandating people as well as institutions engaged in dog breeding, marketing and pet shops as activities and professions to register with the Board as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Dog Breeding and Market Rules, 2017 and Pet Shops Rules 2018).
The KAWB was instituted in November last year. The petition in question was filed last year as well to look into taking action against those carrying out business such as having a dog pet shop or dog breeding without the requisite registration and license.
“Tamil Nadu has been the first in implementation of many animal welfare measures. Late Chief Minister Puratchi Thalaivi Dr. J Jayalalitha has been the pioneer in doing welfare measures towards animals in our state. I am sure our state under your leadership will also do the same towards the voiceless,” says the activist’s letter dated February 10.
Speaking to TNM, Antony said that Tamil Nadu is one of the first states to form a state Animal Welfare Board in November 2018. “We are not that far behind compared to many other states – we just have to implement the rules. We already have the Board.”
“There are so many backyard-businesses operating illegally in many parts of Tamil Nadu where they breed dogs with impunity, without any regulation. And once they have abused the dog for breeding as much as they can, they just dump it on the streets. It’s quite distressing. That’s why I have asked for the rules to be implemented,” he added.
“I most humbly request you Sir, to kindly implement the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018 at the earliest for the better care and treatment of animals in the state of Tamil Nadu,” his letter stated.