Gangtok, June 1: The Government of Sikkim’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services released a circular on May 30, ordering all pet shops and dog breeding establishments to register with the State Animal Welfare Board, in compliance with the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), earlier circular to all states of India, dictating that once the lockdown was over, all pets shops and dog breeding establishments will have to register with the state registering authority and will be allowed to open and operate only after obtaining a proper registration from the State Animal Welfare Board.
The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body constituted by the Government of India under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals, 1960 for the promotion of animal welfare in general and to protect animals from being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering.
‘In order to regulate and streamline the pet shops and dog breeding establishments, including their marketing and mitigating spread of zoonotic diseases outbreak and in tune with scientific norms’, the Government of India had framed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017 and this rule all Pet Shops and Dog Breeding Establishments have to register with the respective state’s registering authority i.e.- State Animal Welfare Board.
This announcement was made, the circular dictates, keeping in mind that the establishments had various local, exotic animals and birds in their possession and that they were not kept in an ideal environment where they are subjected to unnecessary pain and cruelty. This becomes a gross violation of the following rules:
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017.
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Pet Shops), Rules, 2017.
- Letter of Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Government of India dated 01.05.2020.
The concerned pet shop and dog breeding establishments should submit their application for registration in a prescribed form as per Form- I under First Schedule of the above-stated rules. The pet shops and dog breeding establishments have to comply with the circular and if found violated, they shall be liable for strict action as per the Rules.
Sambhavana Gurung, a member of the animal welfare NGO The Guardians says, “We are very pleased with this new update from AWBI, and the steps from the State Animal Husbandry Department as well as the Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department of the Centre. While Sikkim doesn’t have breeding cruelty like other metropolitan cities, it is a very cruel act, forcefully breeding the dogs gives no break to the mother for almost 6 months, even after birth they are separated a not given time to breastfeed from the mother which makes the puppy or kitten very weak as not having had immunity built with the mother’s milk. It’s always better to be sure and preventive with everything so the notifications a good thing from Sikkim and it’s animal breeders because it prevents cruelty on animals either way.”