High Court urges Delhi government to notify it of enforcement of pet shop rules

The Delhi High Court on Monday requested the Delhi government to inform it of the “how and how” the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018 are being implemented. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) requesting the regulation of pet shops in strict compliance with the rules and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1980.

A divisional bench of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Amit Sharma said, “Issue a notice to the NCT Government of Delhi through a permanent civil lawyer by all authorized channels…a notice will state that the NCT Government of Delhi would be required to inform this court with respect to the manner and manner in which the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules 2018 are implemented and enforced in accordance with the law. The case is then listed on December 1st.

Appearing for the PIL litigant, lead attorney Jayant Mehta said the closing arguments are over in this case. During the hearing, the Delhi government was not represented and Mehta said that responses were filed by the defendants and the government was represented in the case in previous hearings.

Mehta argued that as per the response to an RTI request filed by the petitioner in November last year, not even a single pet store was registered with the Delhi Animal Welfare Board. Mehta added that pet shops need a license before housing animals.

Pet Lovers Association, through lead attorney Salman Khurshid, sought to be added to the case arguing that “we want all pet shops regulated – whatever is reasonable should be done…we want let the Animal Welfare Board and the Delhi government tell us what they are doing about it”.

The association, in its application to intervene, said it had more than 1,000 members and 12,000 trained volunteers with the goal of providing an enabling environment for the pet industry and fighting for the well- be birds and animals.

Khurshid further said that the association had challenged the rules in the Supreme Court asking for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018, to be struck down for being contrary to the provisions of the Animal Husbandry Act 1960. prevention of cruelty to animals (59 of 1960) and also being contrary to the freedom and constitutional rights guaranteed by Section 19 (1) (g) and Section 21 of the Constitution of India to citizens Indians in general and to the members of the applicant association in particular. Khurshid argued that their petition was still pending before the Supreme Court.

The association in its petition sought to be joined to the case before the high court to bring out all the necessary aspects from the point of view of the rights and sufferings of pet shop owners.

The plea filed through Advocate Supriya Juneja calls on the Delhi government and the Delhi Animal Welfare Board to audit all pet shops in Delhi and take necessary steps to ensure strict compliance with cruelty prevention rules Animals (Pet Shop), 2018 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1980.

The plea further called for the speedy formation and functioning of a Council of State under the 2018 rules and the formation of a committee headed by a retired High Court judge to oversee that the Council of State enforces the law and from the 2018 rules. The plea also called on the defendants to conduct an awareness campaign and clarify the process for registering pet stores.

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