New Delhi: Buying and selling of pets in the
country will soon be regulated as the government has prepared
a set of guidelines to ensure compassionate treatment to such
animals and birds.
As per the draft of Pet Shop Rules, 2010, the offenders
will face punitive action or cancellation of their licences by
civic bodies as well as Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)
who have been empowered to inspect pet sale units to implement
Pet shop owners will be issued a licence from the local
body or the Board only after undergoing a test to assess the
knowledge of the applicant about animal protection laws, said
the draft prepared by the Environment Ministry which has
invited suggestions and objections to it.
The licence will be renewed every year after inspection
according to which no animal will be sold to anyone under 18,
"Accordingly, an amount of Rs. 5,000 may be charged from
the pet shop owners as the licence fee. The fee for renewal
for the licence shall be Rs 2,000 per annum," said the rules
which will be applicable on shops where animals are housed and
exhibited for sale.
However farms, cattle fares or traditional weekly markets
which are part of traditional lifestyle of the community, have
been kept out of its ambit.
"The move is aimed at ensuring compassionate treatment to
the animals in the pet shops. There is presently no deterrent
law to ensure proper handling and comfort to animals in pet
shops," AWBI chairman R M Kharb said.
He explained that it has been noticed that live animals
are often exhibited and traded like commodities in pet shops.
"Also, many pet shops are next to butcher shops, where
carcasses of slaughtered animals or birds are hung for sale in
full vision of the live animals waiting to be sold.
"In most cases, cages are often crammed with animals or
birds and exhibited outside the shops along with hoardings or
in front of shops in open sun light," he added.
The shop owners keeping dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs,
hamsters, rats, mice, budgerigar, parrot, canary, dove and
pigeons have been brought under the ambit of the rules.
The rules ensure that animals are supplied adequate food
and drinking water, not sold at a tender age and that all
reasonable precautions are taken to prevent unnatural deaths
and spread of infectious diseases.
The proposed guidelines also define in details
operational standards for a pet shop or pet grooming facility,
including minimum standard for sanitation, ventilation,
heating, cooling, humidity, enclosure requirements, nutrition
and medical treatment.
These rules also aim at restricting the sale of puppies
and kittens under the age of eight weeks as well pregnant