Mumbai: Citizens are being watched is now passe. If the government has its way, even pets will be watched. The pet shop owners and veterinary practitioners will have to ensure every pet, mainly puppies are micro-chipped before a sale. The Union environment ministry has notified new Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) rules, 2018, to keep a check on the illegal and abusive pet trade.
In the notified rules, every puppy has to be micro-chipped by a veterinary practitioner and each pet shop should have a functional micro-chip reader. “No pet shop shall be granted a licence by the local authority, unless it has obtained a certificate of registration from the state board,” the notification reads.
Pet shops have been accused of violating the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 by selling prohibited animals. The microchips can be planted in either of three places – tail, back or shoulder. “It is a requirement of the said rules that only the micro-chipped puppies shall be sold. These chips should have a unique electronic identification number. The chips will be as small as 5 millimeters. The aim is to control inbreeding and illegal import of exotic dog breeds,” said an official from Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
According to the official, should anyone fails to comply with the said rules, the state animal welfare board will call the parties for an inspection. In case of violations, a notice will be issued. If the rules are not complied with in the next 15 days, the registration will be cancelled and the shop will be sealed. “The situation of pets in our country is a desperate cry for help and needs regulation. It is a welcome move and a right step towards conservation of species other than humans,” said Harsh Shah of Birds and Animal Helpline, a Non-Government Organisation.