The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released four new Gazette notifications under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to regulate dog breeders , animal markets, and aquarium and “pet” fish shop owners . This progress has come about as a joint effort by animal protection groups including PETA India. PETA India was involved in the public consultation process for these rules and had provided useful comment to strengthen protections.
The rules are the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017; Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules,
2017; the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Aquarium and Fish Tank Animals Shop) Rules, 2017; and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017.
In a perfect world, laws to protect animals would eliminate all cruelty because dogs should not be bred and sold, cattle and other animals should not be sent to slaughter, and fish should not be kept in tanks. But sometimes change occurs in stages, and we commend the government for passing certain additional protections for dogs and fish; as well as cows, buffaloes, camels and other animals who end up at animal markets for now. We also commend the government for helping remove animals from abusers through the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017.
Some points to be noted include:
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 says, “If the accused is convicted, or pleads guilty, the magistrate shall deprive him of the ownership of animal and forfeit the seized animal to the infirmary, pinjrapole, SPCA, Animal Welfare Organisation or Gaushala already having custody for proper adoption or other disposition.”
- According to these new rules, dog breeders, aquarium and fish “pet” shop owners must register themselves with the state Animal welfare Board of the respective states.
- No aquarium can keep, house or display: “any cetaceans, penguins, otters, manatees, sea turtles and marine turtles, artificially coloured fish, any species of fish tank animals listed in the Wildllife (Protection) Act, 1972 (53 of 1972), or any species listed under the Appendix I of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species”.
- The sale of all types of cattle, including buffaloes, and camels for slaughter via animal markets is not allowed. The sale of cattle and camels can be made only to a person who carries valid documents proving he or she is an “agriculturist”.
- Certain various cruelties that commonly take place at markets will no longer be allowed including hot branding and cold branding, mutilating animals’ ears, force-feeding animals fluid to make them appear fatter to fetch a better price and more.
The new rules do not, unfortunately, prevent the dairy industry from continuing to supply animals to the beef industry. India’s beef industry is massive because its supplier, the dairy industry, is massive. Read more about the link between and dairy here.