Regulate Pet Shops; Bring in Pet Shop Rules

What is the use of rules if they are not put into effect? They are basically good for nothing.

Even if certain things relate to us, it won’t matter to us until and unless we come to know about them. Now, how many people, especially pet lovers, know that Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) drafted rules under Pet Shop Rules, 2010 to regulate trade in animals? Well, no landslide yeses are expected over here. Please don’t feel too bad. The distressing thing is that those rules are yet to be officially implemented, by the concerned authorities, over pet shops in Delhi.

But there is hope, animal welfare organisations like Blue Cross, People for Animals (PFA) and Federation of Indian Apex Animal Protections Organisations (FIAPO) have written to the chairman of Law Commission, Justice AP Shah to request him to promulgate the Pet Shop Rules.

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Pet Shop Rules, 2010

Pet shops are commercial establishments which deal with live animals for profit. But animals are not commodities; they are capable of being uneasy, feel pain, hunger and thirst just as humans do. To not to let profit-making impinge on the health and happiness of voiceless animals, specific rules have been formulated to promote the welfare of the innocent creatures. Only those pet shops who would work as per the operational standards of Pet Shop Rules would be given a licence to function.

Why does it matter?

The desire for profit can easily push most people towards the extremes of meanness. Shunning of tender feelings may make people do inhumane things, particularly with those who cannot object or fight for their rights. Thus, congested areas of living, insufficient food and water, plucking of feathers, de-clawing of kittens, selling of unweaned/underage animals and birds, and other such wretched practices become the (deplorable) norms of the pet trade. It is because of the unchecked nature of the dealings that wild and exotic animals are being put up for sale in huge numbers.

Pet Shop Rules have set out guidelines for almost all aspects of running a pet shop. Like, it has defined the area of the cage or enclosure that each dog, cat, bird, hamster, rabbit, rat, mice and guinea pig should have as per their respective weight and size. The right type of floor, which would be suitable for each type of animal, is also mentioned. Other rules relate to – having an exercise plan for the creatures; ensuring proper ventilation, noise control, temperature, veterinary care, cleanliness, records; specifying the age of selling and number of attendants needed and so on.

You have a big role to play

Laws are there to empower you. But first you must be enthusiastic and informed enough to make use of them. Albert Schweitzer said, “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” So, find your peace by letting your compassion grow unbounded; stand for the rights of those who can’t stand for themselves. Please go through the Pet Shop Rules, 2010  in detail to arm yourself with all the provisions which every pet shop must adhere to. Be kind and stay vigilant.

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