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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.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar passed the said order while dealing with a plea calling into question the operations of illegal dog breeders and pet shop owners.
The petitioner primarily contended that many pet shops are carrying out their functions without obtaining certificate of registration and licenses from the State Board.
Keeping this in mind, 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."
Karnataka High Court
Therefore, time had to be granted to these pet shop owners to obtain registration, the Court observed.
The Court further stated that a representation could be made to the state in cases of release for more funds.
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.
In this regard, the Court held that the above prayer is premature and cannot be considered now, as the State Board had just been constituted on November 25, 2019. However, it is always open for the petitioners to bring to the attention of the Court those persons who ought to have obtained registration and haven't done so within a period of three months, the Court clarified.
Counsel appearing for the petitioners, Advocate Alwyn Sebastian, further argued that even though the State Board is constituted, no meeting had been conducted and no budget had been allocated.
Responding to this contention, the Additional Advocate General 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 further stated that without obtaining registration, none of pet shop owners are entitled to obtain license from Board.
Under the circumstances, the Court opined that no further orders are required in the matter.