New draft rules to prevent dogs from cruelty, engage them in security: Min

New draft rules to prevent dogs from cruelty, engage them in security: Min
The government is exploring ways on how pet dogs can also play a role in providing security to the society including cases of terrorism and anti-women crimes, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said today. The ministry has issued a draft of rules which makes mandatory for dog breeders and marketers to register themselves with state Animal Welfare Board and maintain proper records regarding purchase, sale and rehabilitation of the canines, among others, to make them accountable.

The Environment Ministry has invited comments on draft notification for 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2016' within 30 days to prevent infliction of pain or suffering on dogs. Dave said so far there were no rules in the country on the breeding, sale and purchase of dogs which is why the ministry felt for framing the rules, while hoping that the shops and sale and purchase of canines will be made online in the coming days.

"In this era of terrorism, can we give special training to pet dogs so that they can take part in social awareness. Can those dogs play some role against terrorism? If the dog gets around 2-4 months training and the dog gets ready...we have got these suggestions and we will think about them. "I got a suggestion whether there can be a dog university. We can think as to why only police dogs come to the locality and take care of these things. Why not trained dogs which are already present in the locality. We want to enlarge the horizon. This resource should come into use in properly breeding them as well as social security," he told reporters.

He said in various localities of different cities, girls return home in the evening or late night. "Police have a role to play in their security. But the pet animals which are there in the locality, if they are trained, their role will also definitely change. Because then they will not remain in the house merely for the sake of it but also work as a watchdog in the locality. So we are looking at this in a bigger perspective," he said.

The objective of the proposed rules is to make dog breeders and their marketers accountable and to prevent infliction of any cruelty in this process. Dog breeding and their marketing trade has also mushroomed all around the country and at times, some cruelty has been caused in breeding and marketing of canines, with little or no accountability. "We are giving this regulation in the public domain. It will be there for 30 days. We have invited suggestions from public especially dog lovers and those who buy and sell dogs. We will try that this entire process becomes online so that records can be available," Dave said.

Dave said in independent India there was no rule on how to take care of this "loyal animal" and the process of its breeding which is why the Ministry thought about framing rules for it. He added that the people of the country have not learnt animal welfare after independence but India knows animal welfare since centuries and have been taking care of cows, bulls, and other animals. "Society by nature does it," he remarked.

Under the proposed rules, it will be mandatory for all dog breeders and the dog breeding establishments to register themselves with the state Animal Welfare Board of the respective states. The rules also define the requirements to be met by the breeders and the establishments used for breeding, or housing dogs, such as health-related requirements, housing facilities, manner of housing dogs, conditions for sale, breeding, micro-chipping, vaccination, among others.

Under the rules, an inspector authorised by the state board can inspect the establishment while it will be mandatory for dog breeders to maintain proper records of both male and female dogs, their breed, micro-chip number, number of litters, sale, purchase, death and rehabilitation. "Every dog breeder is required to submit yearly report to the state board regarding animals sold, traded, bartered, brokered, given away, boarded or exhibited during previous year or any other information asked for by the state board," the Ministry said.

Non-compliance of the proposed rules will lead to cancellation of the registration of the dog breeder, the Ministry added. The Ministry has implemented 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960' to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain, or suffering on animals. Lauding the move, Gauri Maulekhi, an animal rights body said the notification will end the practice of this "infamous" industry.

"We are delighted with this new draft notification that will end the irregular practice of this infamous industry. We commend the Ministry for their vision and their efforts to protect 'man's best friend' from being exploited and being used as reproductive machines in the breeding industry. We hope that the Centre will implement this as soon as possible," said Maulekhi, government liaison for Humane Society International - India.

HSI India claimed tens of thousands of dogs are illegally bred in deplorable conditions without proper medical care while most often than not unweaned puppies less than two months of age are sold to unassuming customers without any registration or records.
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