New Delhi: Environment minister Anil Madhav Dave on Tuesday unveiled draft rules for the prevention of cruelty to dogs, seeking to make dog breeders and sellers accountable.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2016, propose to make it mandatory for all dog breeders and dog breeding establishments to register themselves with the animal welfare bodies of state governments.
They also define the breeding requirements/conditions for sale, the requirements to be met by the breeders and the establishments used for breeding or housing dogs. They address issues such as health requirements and housing facilities for dogs, conditions for their sale, breeding, micro-chipping and vaccination.
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The rules also make it mandatory for dog breeders to maintain proper records of dogs, their breeds, micro-chip numbers, sale and purchase, death and rehabilitation etc.
Under the rules, every dog breeder would be required to submit yearly reports to the state boards regarding animals sold, traded, bartered or given away in the previous year.
Dave said at present the government has no data about the number of pet dogs and the registration of pets will give a clearer picture of the number of such animals across the country.
According to the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC), 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".
Unveiling the rules, put up in the public domain for 30 days to glean feedback from stakeholders, Dave sought to start a debate around a more useful role that pet dogs could play.
“In this era of terrorism, can we give special training to pet dogs so that they can take part in social awareness? Can such dogs play some role against terrorism? If the dog—for example—gets around two or four months training and can be ready for such a role. I have got all these kind of suggestions from people. We will think about them," Dave said.
“Can there be something like a dog university—someone suggested to me in morning. I asked them to send their suggestions to the ministry. We can think as to why only police dogs come to the mohalla and take care of these things. Why not trained dogs which are already present in the locality?," Dave added.
Pet dogs in a neighbourhood could also protect women, he suggested.
“In the locality, girls come in the evening or late night. Police have a role to play in their security. But the pet animals or dogs 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," said Dave.