Don't abandon pets, owners told writes Nozia Sayyad

Pune: The state Animal Husbandry department has issued a notification and an advisory on Thursday stating that if owners are found abandoning their pets due to the spread of coronavirus, they will face serious repercussions as well as action under Section 11 (1) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Sharing more details, Dr Prashant Bhad, Assistant Commissioner of Animal Husbandry department, said, “We were alerted by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to notify all the cities and districts that the current outbreak which is not spread through animals, especially dogs and cats. Hence, it is not right to abandon pets on streets or deprive them of food or medicines in such trying times. If any owner is found to be indulging in such act of cruelty, strict action will be taken against him or her.” He added that it has come to light that some pet owners from other parts of the country have abandoned their dogs and cats fearing they may get infected. “To avoid any such unfortunate incidence in our state, the notification was issued,” said Bhad.

He further said: “Not only this, we have also requested all the district collectors to educate people (pet owners) through various means about coronavirus as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has specifically clarified that it is only transmitted through humans; no animal is known to spread this virus. Hence, the pet owners need not be worried and should take utmost care of them and should not deprive them of any basic needs.”

Bhad shared that local bodies have been directed to take care of stray animals as well so that nobody inflicts cruelty upon them. If found to be doing so, it will be considered as an offence and attract strict action. “The advisory will be implemented with immediate effect in the state,” he ended.

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