India adopts remarkable set of new animal protection policies

By on May 26, 2017 with 19 Comments

The Government of India has announced sweeping new regulations that are expected to end the suffering of dogs bred indiscriminately and without basic needs like food, water, and shelter; improve conditions for animals sold in livestock markets; and ensure that fish sold in aquariums and fish stores are not caught using destructive fishing practices, or taken from protected areas. It’s one of the biggest packages of animal welfare reforms ever adopted by a major nation, and it’s going to be implemented on a subcontinent with more than a billion people and countless millions of animals at risk.

These are just the latest advances in our work to protect animals in India. Since opening our offices there five years ago – with the Dalai Lama joining me in the packed celebration in Mumbai of this new capacity and our new initiatives – the Humane Society International/India team has succeeded in ending the biggest animal sacrifice on earth at Gadhimai in Nepal, helped end the imports of fur and exotic skins into India, and made significant gains on ending animal fighting and cosmetics testing.

The new regulations are expected to improve the lives of millions of companion animals, farm animals, and marine animals who, until now, had no protections under the law. They prescribe a comprehensive procedure for the care, cost, maintenance, veterinary treatment, and overall well-being of animals seized from markets and from cases of animal cruelty. Confiscated animals will be seized and handed over to an animal welfare organization until there is a verdict for the owner. Any person convicted for cruelty will be barred from owning that or any animal in the future.

Breeding dogs in India typically live in deplorable conditions. The vast majority of puppies sold in pet stores in India come from breeders who do not provide the animals with the most basic necessities. Unweaned puppies less than two months old are sold to consumers without any registration or records. Whelping mothers are impregnated continuously, resulting in harm to the mothers and the well-being of the puppies. The animals are deprived of the most basic necessities, including food, water, and veterinary care.

Under the new rules, all dog breeders must now be registered, and the facilities being used to house the dogs will be open for state inspections which, we hope, will reduce the abuse and suffering of the dogs and force breeders to provide at least the most basic care. The new regulations will also set age and sterilization requirements before dogs are sold, and will regulate the number of litters each female dog can produce.

The rules concerning livestock animals are a direct result of our work in Gadhimai, where our team found that nearly 80 percent of the animals being brought into Nepal came from India.

It is estimated that each year hundreds of thousands of cows, bulls, buffaloes, horses, goats, sheep, donkeys, camels, and birds are transported to the markets. Once conscripted into the trade, they have no access to food, water, or rest. This is considered cruelty under an Indian prevention of cruelty law already in existence, but that law was not being properly enforced. Under the new rules, animal market monitoring committees will ensure that markets provide housing, sufficient food and water, feed storage areas, water troughs, ramps, enclosures for sick animals, veterinary care, lighting, bedding, toilets, proper drainage, and other facilities for the animals.

Aquariums and fish shops will be banned from sourcing fish caught using destructive fishing practices, like bottom trawling, cyanide fishing, use of explosives or dynamite to kill or stun fish, or the use of fish trapped from coral reefs or from other protected areas. Aquariums will be required to be registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India. The rules also prohibit the display and trade of cetaceans, penguins, otters, and manatees, among other sea creatures. These are among the strongest fish and aquarium standards in the world, and we are proud to have played a role in their passage.

Let’s take a moment today to celebrate these important victories in India, to thank political and judicial leaders in India, and to send thanks for the determined efforts of our extraordinary staff in the world’s second most populous nation.

Categories
Companion Animals, Farm Animals, Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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19 Comments

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  1. JULIANNA BENEFIELD says:

    This is soo good, THANK YOU for doing this & setting a wonderful example.
    It is good to sign a thnak oyu , instead of asking that the meanness stop. This makes me so excited.

  2. Barbara Nugent says:

    Remarkable news coming out of a country where all life is in jeopardy. Thank you HSUS for making these substantial gains.

    • Priyanka says:

      Why do you think India is a country where all life is in jeopardy anymore than other countries?

      • Tanya Scott says:

        Perhaps because it’s such a poor country?
        It’s a culturally rich, but money poor country, and money poor countries generally have very poor attitudes towards animals.

        Shashi Tharoor once said, “India is a highly developed civilization in a highly advanced stage of decay.

  3. Vicki Oneill says:

    So glad to hear this ! I have a new found respect for India.
    Also thank you to the Dalai Lama whom I’ve always held the highest respect and admiration .
    Now if only the USA would follow suit .

  4. Bonani Ghosh says:

    We animal workers are so extremely happy at the new law. We thank Maneka Gandhi for this endeavour. There is no better law in the world at the moment in animal welfare. Let’s put all our effort to implement it.

  5. Patricia Yager Delagrange says:

    This is a wonderful advancement for the world.

  6. Krystyna Wooding says:

    When are Elephants going to be respected and not used as slave to beg money. Used at festivals standing all day st temples being chain by the feet. Include Ekephant who are abuse and over worked !

  7. S. H. says:

    We need to protect every live animal and provide proper care for any animal in need world-wide. Thanks for taking these steps!

  8. Gitanjali Singh says:

    thank godthe humans being human

  9. P. P. UNNIKRISHNAN says:

    I do not understand why there is such a hue and cry in Kerala regarding this new rule. yesterday, a poor bull f one and half years was slaughtered by the youth congress members in public as a protest against the rule. This is a horrible and devilish act.

  10. Radha Sen says:

    I AM GLAD TO SEE NEW THE LAWS BE FRAMED IN INDIA.
    BUT I HAVE A QUESTION.
    WILL THESE LAWS TRULY BE ENFORCED AND IMPLEMENTED??
    MOST COMPLAINTS HAVE TO BE MADE AT THE POLICE STATION AND FOR S LODGED.
    AND INVARIABLY PEOPLE ARE WAVED AWAY AND THE MATTER IS NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY BECAUSE IT IS AN ANIMAL.
    THIS CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED IF THE POLICE ARE GIVEN ORDERS FROM THE TOP TO TAKE ANIMAL ATROCITIES SERIOUSLY.
    AND THE COURTS TOO WHERE THE HEARINGS TAKE PLACE AND SENTENCING PRONOUNCED…
    UNTIL THEN NO ANIMALS WILL GET ANY JUSTICE NOR WILL THESE NEW LAWS ACT AS DETERRENTS.
    HUMANS COMPREHEND CONSEQUENCES NOT WORDS.
    – RADHA SEN

  11. Amin says:

    Thank you for all your efforts in saving animals. There is a concerted campaign going on in India where the ban on Cow slaughter (which is just one among many anti-animal cruelty measures adopted by the current Govt) is being portrayed in a negative way to score political points by the current govt detractors in the Indian English media and outside. Some of these detractors are even going to extent of killing Cows in public as a mark of protest and contrary to medical advice and human compassion, extolling the virtues of eating Beef on TV. The international media is largely following and reporting in the same vein castigating the ban on Cow slaughter in a negative way. I am glad you did not fall into that trap .

  12. Martin Lancaster says:

    Amazing work! Maybe more westerners who criticise asian countries should remember that there are plenty of brave animal defenders in those countries and also look at what happens in slaughterhouses here in Europe and other “1st world” countries!Go vegan!

  13. Ruth Epstein says:

    Fantastic news and I pray that other countries will follow

  14. Jay says:

    Veterinary and infrastructure facilities.— (1) Every aquarium shall –
    (a) have a fisheries veterinarian or a fisheries expert employed full time for the purpose of overseeing the
    health care of all the fish tank animals in its collection;
    (b) have appropriate facilities for a treatment room.
    (2) Every aquarium shall have an isolation room with fish tanks constructed or installed for the purpose of
    quarantining sick, injured or confiscated fish tank animals for the duration of their treatment and recovery.
    (3) Every aquarium operator shall provide each aquarium with support staff for its fisheries expert as required

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