Chennai: The Madras High Court granted three months time to the Government Dog Breeding Centre at Saidapet in the city to improve facilities as per the recommendations of the Animal Welfare Board.
The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan stated this while disposing of two PIL`s filed by People of Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, Mumbai and another one by E Seshan.
The bench said that in view of Animal Welfare Board of India`s stand that government desired to continue running it for the objective for which it was set up and if it was brought as per the Board`s recommendations and the infirmities were removed, "we are inclined to grant three months period of time."
"Thereafter, the Animal Welfare Board will carry out a fresh inspection. If on consideration of the situation, the Board still recommends there is no sufficient improvement and the unit should be closed down, then we are of the view that the recommendation should be followed and the unit be shut down."
The petitioners alleged that the unit, run by the Animal Husbandry Department of Tamil Nadu, was in contravention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1980 and the rules framed thereunder.
The unit was set up in 1980-81 to preserve native dog breeds like Rajapalayam, Chippiparai, Kombai while at present it breeds foreign dogs, they said.
The Board carried out an inspection and found the unit`s functioning was not in accordance with the manner in which it has to be run. It was not even registered with the Board, violating the rules.
Other infirmities were pointed out by the Board and these were pointed out to the Department. The recommendation was in fact to shut down the unit on account of cruelty and illegality. Funding used by the unit was recommended to be directed towards the State Animal Births Control Programmes that encourages adoption of dogs from animal shelters or in Streets, the Board said.
Hence, the petitions were filed for a direction to the Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department to shut down the unit.
The petitioners further sought a direction to relinquish the dogs housed at the Unit to them for sufficient treatment and care they need before being adopted into `Forever` homes.
Another petitioner E Seshan sought a direction to the Breeding Centre to provide proper expert medical care, food, exercise and maintenance to the animals without being subjected to any cruelty as defined under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.