Pet stores, dog breeding centers and marketing centers without a valid license in Maharashtra will not be allowed to remain open after the lockdown.
The National Livestock Department issued guidelines to all district collectors, released on Friday, to ensure these centers must re-apply for registration with the Maharashtra State Animal Welfare Board (SAWB) at the earliest to ensure that they remain functional.
“Based on the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act 1960, amended in 2017 and 2018 to include the latest guidelines, we have only registered eight pet stores and five dog breeders in Pune, while no other such center across Maharashtra has been recorded so far. “said Dr Prashant Bhad, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Livestock.
At the moment, all pet shops and breeding centers in Mumbai are operating without our consent, Dr Bhad said. “We have not received inspection reports from any center in Mumbai. Based on our authorization, valid centers can apply for registration, ”he said.
The directive follows an advice from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to ensure that pet shops avoid keeping exotic animals while breeding centers meet scientific standards to mitigate the spread of zoonotic diseases. “The animals in the pet shops are kept in immunocompromised and unsanitary conditions. Once these rules are applied, it is less likely that we will have zoonotic epidemics. This is a very positive order and must be followed, ”said Ambika Hiranandani, SAWB legal adviser.
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India said the state must issue orders not to display animals for sale on any online platform. “When the lockdown was announced, many owners left animals and birds locked in their stores to starve and suffer. Violators must be treated in strict accordance with the provisions of the law, ”said Meet Ashar, Associate Director, Emergency Response Team, PETA India.