Delhi High Court to govt: Plea to set up Board to regulate dog breeding

Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 15:33 IST | PTI |

The breeders, none of whom are registered, sell the pups even before they are weaned, leading to lack of resistance in them towards infections and many often succumb to diseases at a young age, the petition has said

Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response of the AAP government on a plea that an Advisory Board for Animal Welfare with a dedicated staff and budget be set up in the national capital at the earliest to tackle the issue of illegal breeding of pedigree dogs. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its stand by January 14 to the plea by animal rights activist Gauri Maulekhi who has said that the Board has been constituted several times in the past, but it has remained "defunct".

Maulekhi, represented by senior advocate Raj Panjwani, has said in her plea that the Board was first constituted in 1992 and then again in 1995, 1999 and 2014. However, it continued to be "totally defunct" as it has "not performed any functions at all since its inception" and only holds meetings twice a year, she has contended. The application, filed through advocate Priyanka Bangari, said the Board was defunct as it "included ex-officio members from various departments and certain non-government members from civil society". "However, not a single officer was deputed to the Board," it said.

The application said that time and again the Delhi government was reminded to make available facilities for the Board to perform its functions which now include registration of dog breeding and pet trade business and their regulation. It has said that for regulating such businesses, the Board will need full time officers deputed to it from the Animal Husbandry Department as the duties "cannot be performed by ex-officio members of the Board or NGOs. "It is submitted that constitution of the Board is imperative. However, it is more important that a proper office, budget and dedicated officer in charge, likely a civil servant, be deputed/appointed on the Board along with other staff members. "That these staff members should have earmarked duties to perform. That this full time staff should work dedicatedly to discharge the functions of the Board," the application has said.

The application was moved in a PIL filed in July this year against the practice of "rampant illegal breeding of pedigree dogs" in the national capital. The petition has said that such breeding practices also contribute to rise in street dog population as canines are sold without sterilising them. It has said that dogs meant for breeding are kept in horrible conditions and breeders induce back to back pregnancies to obtain at least two litters of pups every year. The breeders, none of whom are registered, sell the pups even before they are weaned, leading to lack of resistance in them towards infections and many often succumb to diseases at a young age, the petition has said.

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