Food safety is of concern for both human and companion animal health. Government agencies, pet food manufacturers, and veterinarians play crucial roles in ensuring the safety of pet food and safeguarding pets and their owners. Recent legislation will increase the governmental role in regulating pet food and will affect many manufacturers. Veterinarians continue to play a vital role by recognizing and reporting pet food safety issues and by educating clients on matters related to pet food safety.
Hyderabad has a lot of government hospitals that work in the direction of delivering the best to your pets.
What are some of the steps that the government has taken for the welfare of the pets?
New pet shop rules setting standards for animal housing and care are now in place in India. If implemented appropriately, the rules could stem the cruel practices rampant in the pet shop industry. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018 in the wake of a series of representations made by Humane Society International/India and People for Animals, apprising the ministry of the cruelty found in the pet shop industry.
Animals transported and traded to meet the demand of the pet shop industry are kept in inhumane conditions. These animals are typically denied complete veterinary care; puppies are separated from their mothers soon after birth; birds, rats, mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs are stuffed in small cages without access to adequate water or food.
What are the key decisions taken by the government?
- No person can operate a pet shop or carry on the business of trade in pet animals without a certificate of registration from the concerned State Animal Welfare Board. Any person already operating pet shops may apply for registration within 60 days from the date of these rules.
- Any pet shop without a valid certificate of registration, or the failure of the person to apply for the same within a specified period, will result in the sealing of the pet shop. Animals confiscated from such shops shall be sent to an animal welfare organization recognized by the Board.
- Application for registration to be made to the State Board with a non-refundable fee of 5,000 INR. A separate application shall be made for every pet shop or any premises being used for the pet trade. Such a certificate shall be valid for five years, non-transferable, and shall be subject to a yearly review.
- Pet shops registered by the Board shall be inspected by an authorized veterinarian upon receipt of the application. On being satisfied that the applicant and the establishment comply with requirements under these rules, the State Board shall continue the registration.
- The rules provide standards for accommodation, infrastructure, housing, general care, veterinary care, and other operational requirements. These include the elimination of wire mesh for the floors of the enclosures, a health certificate from a veterinary practitioner for every animal on sale, and a written exercise plan for any pup over 16 weeks of age.
- Every pet shop owner shall maintain a record book with the particulars of breeders and suppliers of pet animals, trade transactions, and their details. Records of the customers buying pet animals must also be kept. Additional records required to be kept are “mortality register” and “health register.”
- On receipt of a complaint about noncompliance with these rules by pet shop owners, an inquiry will be conducted through the local authority or SPCA. Animals found to be ill-treated or sick shall be confiscated and sent to a recognized animal welfare organization for treatment. The pet shop owner shall be liable for any expenses incurred for the care and treatment of such animals.
- If violations are discovered during the inspection, the State Board shall issue the owners a notice of show cause. The State Board may, if it is not satisfied with the response received, or if no response received from the owners, cancel the registration and communicate the reasons in writing. Subject to appeal, the pet shop may be sealed or registration reinstated as the case may be.
- Every registered pet shop owner is required to submit an annual report to the State Board detailing the total number of animals traded, boarded, or exhibited during the previous year.