CHENNAI: Pet clinics, pet shops, breeders and pet boarding spaces will soon come under the radar of the city corporation which seeks to regulate the breeding and sale of pets, besides keeping a tab on activities at pet clinics. The veterinary department of the civic body will make available details of registered pet-related clinics, shops, and boarding spaces online and on the Namma Chennai app.
As per data from the corporation revenue department, there are only two registered businesses in Chennai corporation limits for trade licenses under pet/animals category, despite the great number of pet clinics, boarding and hostels, and pet shops across the city.
“We don’t have the current number of registered pet-related clinics, shops, boarding, and breeders. We want to regulate the businesses and keep the tab on their quality of service,” said a health department official. All such businesses must compulsorily possess a trade license from the revenue department, and in time, they will be brought under public health guidelines. Once businesses get trade licenses, veterinary department officials and workers will inspect the place.
“Veterinarians should have licenses to practice and all pet shelters, breeders, and veterinarians should operate as per the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001. Disposal of medical waste must be checked, and quality of products and medicines sold at pet shops and clinics will also be monitored,” an official said.
The health department is working to promulgate guidelines for these businesses following which their details and locations will be uploaded, officials said.
Animal activists said there are rules in place to check the welfare of animals but they are not enforced. “If the corporation will bring in new rules to crack down on illegal breeders and check animal cruelty, it is a welcome step. However, it should not become a loophole to harass animal lovers and rescuers who have numerous dogs at their homes. There are pet and fish breeding shops functioning in the open in Moore Market, Kolathur and Pallavaram markets but no action has been taken for decades,” said Arun Prasanna of People For Cattle in India.
Pet lovers said regulation of pet clinics and breeders was needed. “Every nook and corner has a pet shop. The conditions in which animals are kept are pathetic. It is high time the corporation took steps to regulate such businesses,” said Meera C, a pet owner.