HYDERABAD: Enthusiastic dog lovers who buy foreign-breed canines by paying around Rs 1.5 lakh, later realise it takes thousands of rupees, time and attention, for their maintenance and treatment. They later abandon them on the road side or at the gates of dog shelters. However, the foreign-bred dogs find it difficult to survive here.
To contain this issue, the Director General of Foreign Trade issued a gazette notification banning the import of dogs for breeding or any other commercial activities.
Kennel owners said that dog enthusiasts give onus of their pet’s maintenance to maids or helpers who have no idea about handling the dogs, due to which they fall sick. Since the dogs are abandoned, canine shelters are filled with such dogs, said animal welfare organizations.
Humane Society International/India (HSI) and People for Animals said the notification was issued after both the organisations urged the government to ban the import of dogs for breeding as it was resulting in overpopulation of street dogs in India, and the suffering endured by breed dogs due to difference in climatic conditions.
However, the animals can be imported by pet lovers with relevant documents in the name of importer, for research works by research organizations with recommendation of the Committee for the Purpose of Control And Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), for internal security by Defence and Police forces.
Kennel owners in the city said they imported foreign breeds at around Rs 3 lakh. A record high of Rs 2 crore was spent by a kennel owner in Bengaluru to buy a pair of French Mastiff dogs. St Bernard, Beagle, and other exotic breeds are imported by spending Rs 1.5 lakh and more.
“Kennel owners buy foreign dogs, breed them and sell puppies. For instance, a Tibetan Mastiff is bought for Rs 3 lakh and its puppies are sold for Rs 1.5 to Rs 2.5 lakh. Pet lovers don’t import dogs, it is kennel owners who do it. Kennel owners spend up to Rs 20,000 per month to maintain the dogs,” said Lucky from VLovepetz.
He contended that the dogs fall sick because of lack of care. “There is high demand for foreign breeds. People who buy the dogs leave them with maids who would not take care of them. They do not realise the dogs are not doing well until they get sick,” Lucky said.
“Often, owners say that they did not know it would cost so much for their maintenance. They don’t understand what entails a foreign breed. There are inherent health issues for different breeds, which owners don’t understand, and end up buying the dogs,” said N G Jayasimha, managing director of HSI-India.
“Breeds such as the Alaskan Husky, which originates in Alaska, were bred there for use as work dogs in extremely cold climate. But when they are brought to countries with tropical climate such as India, they will not be comfortable even if they are kept in AC rooms. They are meant for work, but people don’t make them exercise which leads to health disorders. Bad nutrition adds to the problem,” said C Samyuktha, campaign manager-wildlife, HSI-India.