The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the State government to reply to public interest litigation (PIL) claiming that most pet shops in Mumbai and other parts of the state are illegally operating as they do not have the necessary license from the State Animal Welfare board.
A division bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamadar asked Advocate Nisha Mehra appearing for the state to take instruction and file a reply within three weeks.
The direction was given during the hearing of a plea filed by one Shivraj Patne, who claimed that the Central government has published the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) rules.
According to section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) rules, no person shall carry on or continue the business of sale or trade-in pet animals, establish or operate a pet shop without obtaining a certificate.
At present, the shops running in the state engaged in the trade of illegal sale of pet animals along with exotic species of birds and other animals is entirely illegal and must be shut down.
Pending the hearing, the plea has asked the authorities to confiscate such pet animals from shops not having the certificates. It has further directed the state to implement rules framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.