The Kasturba Marg police station in Borivali East registered a First Information Report (FIR) – with the support of PETA India and an animal rights activist Vaishali Chawhan – against a self-proclaimed “snake rescuer” and two other people who were trying to sell an American bully pup illegally after performing a banned ear-cropping surgery on him in contravention of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018. The dog, who was less than 2 months old, was underweight, had crudely trimmed ears, and suffered from inflammation and infection of the skin as a result of unhygienic living conditions.
One of the accused, 26-year-old Karan Parkar, had been trying to sell the puppy by posting videos of him in WhatsApp groups. Vaishali Chawhan, an animal rights activist from Borivali, saw one of these posts and got in touch with PETA India’s emergency response team. The team worked with Chawhan and Kasturba Marg police officers to identify Parkar and file an FIR against him. He and two of his alleged accomplices have been booked by the police under Sections 34 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 3, 11(1)(a), (l), and 38(3) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. The pup was seized and is now safe in the custody of Chawhan, getting needed veterinary care.
Previously, PETA India had sent letters to numerous Indian veterinary regulatory bodies – including the Veterinary Council of India, state veterinary councils, central and state animal husbandry departments, veterinary colleges and universities, veterinarians’ associations, and the Animal Welfare Board of India (a statutory body established under the PCA Act) – urging them to implement and enforce the ban on cosmetic tail-docking and ear-cropping surgeries on dogs as per the 2017 and 2018 Rules. And in July of this year, the Madras High Court confirmed a ban on docking the tails and cropping the ears of puppies and dogs in view of the enactment of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Pet Shop) Rules, 2018.
Cropping (cutting off a portion of) a dog’s ears, even when performed by a veterinarian under general anaesthesia, causes post-surgery pain and psychological trauma and can lead to complications such as infection. After the procedure, the ears are taped and re-taped to try to force them into a pointed shape, causing dogs further distress. Some breeders take matters into their own hands and use scissors or a blade to crop dogs’ ears without pain relief. Even veterinarians who dock puppies’ tails usually use scissors or a scalpel, without providing the animals with any pain relief. As an alternative, breeders often use a ring to cut off the blood supply to the tail so that it eventually falls off.
Those who perform these procedures disregard the essential nature of these body parts for dogs – they use their tail for balance, and they communicate with their human guardians and other dogs using their ears and tail.