CHENNAI: In view of the intense lockdown in Chennai and three neighboring districts, the Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board on Sunday appealed to the authorities concerned to allow animal shelters and pet shops to remain operational.
In a letter, A Gnanesekaran, Director of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AJD&VS) and Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board, said all veterinary institutions, including both government and private hospitals, clinics, veterinary dispensaries and sub centres, should be permitted to operate. He sought relaxations to these facilities from the lockdown, and requested for passing such an order to all the subordinate offices in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts.
"I am reiterating that the many letters from the joint secretary of Government of India, principal secretary AHD&F of Tamil Nadu government and the Animal Welfare Board of India have been sent to all related departments stating that animal husbandry and other veterinary services-related activities are considered as essential services and shall be permitted to function with observance of government regulations," he said.
All animal shelters are to be kept operational as they offer protection and other health services to animals on a regular basis. Their staff with suitable ID may be permitted to attend to their duties in the shelters. Community dog feeders who observe COVID-19 precautions shall be permitted to feed homeless dogs.
"Besides, pet shops selling feed and shops selling cattle and poultry feed should also be allowed to operate their business," Gnanesekaran said. Many animal welfare activists have expressed difficulties in serving the wounded homeless animals due to lockdown restrictions.