CHENNAI: It will no longer be legal to put up pups on display for immediate sale, under the new rules that the Centre introduced in May to regulate breeding and sale of dogs. “In other countries, one makes an initial payment to a registered breeder and waits till enough people sign up. The dogs are bred after this. The clients pick from the litter on a first-come-first-served basis, and tie a collar for the pup they pick. They come back and take them after two months,” said Shravan Krishnan, an animal activist from Chennai.
The move to have microchips and also record sale and transfer of dogs, will help reduce instances of abandoning pets. There are several cases of pet owners who are cheated with wrong breeds or those who buy dogs impulsively, leaving these animals on streets when they grow older. Chances of pure breeding increases with registered organisations, and also increases the number of healthy dogs.
“I posed as a potential buyer and found brutal living conditions in breeding houses. Some dogs are treated as birth-giving machines. The implementation of these regulations will mean that dogs won’t be bred more than once in two years,” Shravan added.
To implement these measures, however, Tamil Nadu will have to start from scratch. “It’s interesting to note that Tamil Nadu has no account of registered breeders so far,” said a senior official from the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). Breeders may apply for certificate of registration with the State Animal Welfare Board (SAWB) before August. Notification also warned that action would be taken under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960) or Wildlife Protection Act (1972) against unregistered breeders and pet shops that do not comply with the rules.
Conditions for sale
Pups less than eight weeks cannot be sold
Dogs over six months old can’t be sold without being sterlised, unless sold to another licensed breeder
Dogs or pups can’t be sold by breeders and purchased for use in experiments, unless the breeder is registered with the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals
Only inoculated and dewormed dogs in good health are sold
Each pup is embedded with microchip, and complete record of treatmant and vaccination is maintained
Pups can’t be displayed in public places for immediate sale
Receipt of sale is provided to purchaser and copy should be retained with the microchip number of pup, along with name, address and phone number of purchaser
No dog can be sold to a pet shop without a license
Registration of breeder and establishment
Dogs in heat can’t be put up on platforms such as OLX by pet owners, as the new regulation bars unregistered breeding. The trend of advertising pedigree, and breeding dogs ready for mating at charges ranging from `50 to a few thousands has increased over the last few years
Breeders are also required to prominently display the certificate in the establishment, which must also not offer any impediment to inspections from the State Animal Welfare Board. The application must also be renewed at least 30 days prior to date of expiry
Regulations for aquariums and fish shops too
The rules include new regulations for those running aquariums, too. No aquarium or fish shop shall display or sell bowls for keeping fish tank animals, and fish tanks with a capacity of less than 60 litres of water.
The shops and aquariums shall also not house two breeds that are not compatible with each other.
Tanks that house freshwater fish should have at least 4.55 litres of water for every inch of total fish length, while those housing marine fish need 18 litres of water for first four months and 9 litres after that.
This area will exclude area for rocks, pebbles, air bubbles and other solid objects submerged in the tank.
Water aeration, salinity, pH and nitrate levels must also be checked periodically. The shop or the aquarium must also have emergency contingency capacity that assures continuation of life support. A fisheries expert must keep a close and periodic watch over all tanks.
Cetaceans, manatees, otters, sea and marine turtles, artificially coloured fish and any species listed under Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species in the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) cannot be displayed or sold.