The idea of raising a dog is definitely an appealing thought to millions of people across the world. Their compassion, loyalty and the sheer cuteness of our furry friends is something everyone would want in their daily lives. But despite this ardent dream, many of us still remain oblivious to the horrors of the dog-breeding industry, and the numerous individuals that indulge in inhumane and unethical practices just to make a quick buck. Despite adoption being heavily promoted, the breeding industry in India is still a thriving sphere of business.
Nowadays, the most common and steadily increasing trend amongst most commercial dog breeders is to eliminate the use of pet-stores and use unlicensed online retailers to get their puppies straight into your homes. But the concern actually arises from the conditions in which these puppies are bred and raised. Many of them are brought up in facilities called ‘puppy mills’ and housed in severely cramped and unhygienic spaces, with bare minimum food, water, socialisation and healthcare. And when we resort to purchasing our pooches from such breeders, we indirectly fund and promote immoral breeding activity on a larger commercial scale.
Animal cruelty is a battle that many of us have been fighting against for several years, and the call for clear-cut regulations and protection for animals in dog-breeding has never been more urgent. Because let’s face it, if anyone dares to hurt our adorable bundles of love and joy, there will be consequences. But after decades worth of demonstrations and campaigns by animal welfare organisations, the government has finally decided to take legislative actions against animal cruelty within the commercial dog-breeding enterprises; and in not just one, but ten ways!
According to a report by The Better India, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules states that:
I. Every breeder must own a certificate of registration, which can only issued after a thorough inspection by the Animal Welfare Board of India. This certificate is renewable every 2 years and would eventually improve the inhumane conditions of most commercial breeding facilities
II. People who’ve been convicted of any prior offence, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, are ineligible to be registered as a breeder.
III. The Animal Welfare Board, now has the right to conduct surprise inspections to any breeding facility, even on the occasion of receiving public complaints. (note: if you suspect a breeder or a breeding facility of any offence, do not hesitate in lodging a complaint to your local animal welfare board)
IV. Breeders convicted of any offence can be stripped of their license by the Board
V. No breeder must display their dogs in public arenas for immediate sale and must counsel all potential owners of the dog’s characteristics and how they must be taken care of. They are strictly prohibited from selling these dogs on the basis of their appearance, to avoid impulse purchases.
VI. Breeder are now required to rehabilitate puppies that are not sold within six months, through any animal welfare organisation. It is mandatory for them to maintain complete records of the total number of dogs, alive, dead and in care. Each death must also be verified by a veterinary doctor after a post-mortem examination.
While these laws are definitely a huge leap in the right direction, a part of the responsibility also falls on us to make ourselves aware of the occurrences within the breeding industry and consciously make choices and decisions to hinder any and all corrupt practices against our beloved furry friends. Not only is adopting a better moral choice, it is also helps end shelter over-crowding, eradicate puppy mills, and save your wallet some serious cash.
As we always say, adopt, don’t shop!