CHENNAI: Appalled by the conditions and the functioning of the Dog Breeding Unit run by the State Animal Husbandry department, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has asked the department to shut it down.
The board submitted a detailed report to the department last month after conducting a second inspection of the facility in Saidapet as directed by the Madras High Court in August.
It had conducted an inspection earlier following a complaint from People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who alleged neglect and shoddy treatment of dogs in the facility.
“We had visited the unit for the first time in 2012, and were appalled seeing the conditions in which the dogs were kept. We informed AWBI who conducted an inspection but nothing concrete came out. So in 2013, we moved the High Court seeking intervention,” said Manilal Valliyate, PETA.
The court warned that DBU may be closed down if it did not improve its functioning in respect of animal welfare within three months. AWBI was directed to inspect the facility and take a final decision on the matter. However, the unit remained the same and even deteriorated, say board officials. There was a higher prevalence of chronic skin diseases like dermatitis and mange. Dogs had painful pressure sores on hips, hocks and legs, eye discharge and inbreeding depression.
During the inspection, officials found that the unit did not possess any certificate from a certified veterinarian as is necessary before allowing to breed. There was not a single entry made on their breeding and vaccination records. “They were just giving away dogs to anyone and everyone.
There was no contact details, no follow ups. Few who collected dogs were not taking care of them, and blamed the unit for not guiding them. Their vaccination records were empty,” added the official.
However, officials here believe that there could be some hope, as they received a letter from the Animal Husbandry Department a few days ago asking the board to reconsider its recommendation and provide extension to the Unit. “We, too, are looking into the matter seriously, and will ensure better remedial measures,” said T Abraham, director, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences.