The Hon’ble Karnataka High Court has held that all the pet shop owners and dog breeders have to obtain a certificate from State Animal Welfare Board. It was contended that the State Board was constituted only on November 2019 and thus time must be given to the persons to register. Though the High Court Order was delivered for the same in 2017, the court opined that the issue is premature as the Board must be allowed to function effectively and time must be given for registration.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreenivas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar of the Karnataka High Court has directed all pet shop owners and dog breeders in the state to obtain a certificate of registration from the State Animal Welfare Board (State Board) within a period of three months.
The said order was passed on a plea calling into question the operations of illegal dog breeders and pet shop owners. The petition filed by Compassion unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) had further challenged the non-implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (pet shop) Rules 2018 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017. AHVS (Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences) Commissioner S R Natesh confirmed that the notices have been already issued to 45 dog breeders in the city. Bengaluru has the maximum number of breeders in the state. The move has been taken after an order from the High Court, directing AHVS to implement the gazette notification issued on May 23, 2017. The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences (AHVS) department has made it mandatory for professional dog breeders and pet shops across the state to register with the recently formed Karnataka Animal Welfare Board within 90 days. An order to this effect has been issued on January 23.
- The petitioner primarily contended that many pet shops are carrying out their functions without obtaining certificate of registration and licenses from the State Board.
- The Court held that the prayer by the petitioner is premature and cannot be considered now, as the State Board had just been constituted on November 25, 2019.
- Counsel for the petitioners argued that even though the State Board is constituted, no meeting had been conducted and no budget had been allocated.
- The government representative stated that one meeting had already been conducted since the board’s constitution. Further, an amount of Rs. 28 lakh had been released as funds to the Board.
- The Court remarked in the end that without obtaining registration, none of pet shop owners are entitled to obtain license from Board and opined that no further orders are required in the matter.
The Court while passing the order stated that, “Any person who operates a pet shop cannot function without obtaining certificate of registration from State Board. It is true that there are powers vesting in the State Board to take action. As State Board was established in 2018, no opportunity was provided earlier for pet shop owners and animal breeders to obtain registration. The affidavit filed by Director of the Vigilance Wing of Animal Husbandry stated that a public notice was issued requesting pet shop owners to register under 2017 or 2018 rules as required. It is brought to our notice that individual notices were sent to dog breeding owners calling to obtain registration as well”.
The court stated that time had to be granted to these pet shop owners to obtain registration and further observed that a representation could be made to the state in cases of release for more funds.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje