CHENNAI: Changing the way pet animals are traded in the country, the Centre has brought in a series of conditions, restrictions, and technology-enabled measures like microchip embedded in pups to streamline the trade.
These new rules were introduced in May, but garnered little attention after another part of the notification, dealing with the restriction on cattle sale for slaughter, snowballed into a major controversy.
Under the new rules, pups could no longer be bought from a pet shop, but only from a registered breeder, and only those which has microchip embedded in its scruff. This will contain records of vaccination, details of owner, breed, age and other information, so that the State Animal Welfare Board (SAWB) will be able to track the owner of an abandoned pet.
Breeders are not allowed to sell pups that are less than eight weeks old, and dogs older than six months cannot be sold without sterilising, unless to another licensed breeder.
The job of the breeder, however, does not end with selling the pups. The breeder is responsible to track the progress and health of all dogs at least once a year and also send a report to the State Board about the number of animals sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded, exhibited or any such information required by the board.
According to activists, although the cost of pedigree dogs will go up due to these restrictions, strict regulations will discourage backyard breeding and abandoning. SAWB and the Department of Animal Husbandry will be the nodal agencies for implementing the rules.