Four years since the State government set a deadline for pet shop registration, only 427 have been registered with the Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board.
As per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Dog Breeding and Market Rules, 2017 and Pet Shops Rules 2018), no person can operate a pet shop or carry on the business of trade in pet animals without a certificate of registration from the State Animal Welfare Board.
Information sought through the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Antony Rubin, an animal welfare activist, shows that 427 shops have been registered so far. While the rules were notified in 2018, the State government set a deadline two years later in 2020. However, owing to poor awareness and enforcement, about 90% of pet shops in the State continue to run illegally. This is evident from the RTI, which did not give any details on the number of cases filed against unregistered shops.
“Pet shops regulation is vital to keep a check on the way the dogs are looked after in the pet shop. There have been several incidents where pups and kittens have been rescued from a pathetic life ,” says Mr. Rubin. “There have been times when people buying pets get cheated with a disabled dog and they get disappointed and eventually abandon the poor animal,” he adds.
Shruti Vinod Raj, member of the board, says a release will be issued shortly urging all pet shops to get registered within 60 days. “The Board received calls about people coming in vans in Anna Nagar and Parry’s and selling really small [young] pets,” she says, adding that the shops will be asked to sell animals only to registered breeders and maintain records of sales.