For Immediate Release:
21 July 2014
Hearing for Madras High Court Case in Which PETA Is Calling for Unit’s Closure Scheduled for Tomorrow
Chennai – Following an investigation of the Tamil Nadu Animal Husbandry Department’s dog-breeding unit (DBU) by an inspector authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in 2013 which revealed shocking neglect, today People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India revealed that an estimated 22 per cent of the adult dogs and 8 per cent of the puppies at the facility have died in the last year alone. Specifically, out of 23 adult dogs, five died in 2013. Three adult dogs died in 2012 and four in 2011. The causes of death as admitted by the DBU include debility, gastric perforation, acute renal failure to nephritis and sudden collapse, all of which are clinical conditions often caused by poor management practices and inadequate diagnostic and treatment services. The next hearing for the Madras High Court case in which PETA is calling for the DBU’s closure is scheduled to be held tomorrow.
“At a time when Tamil Nadu is struggling to cope with the lakhs of stray dogs on its cities’ streets, the government’s focus should be firmly on sterilisation, not on contributing to the dog-overpopulation crisis”, says PETA Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “Not only is the DBU a cruel dungeon for dogs, it’s also a waste of taxpayers’ money, as the government department is attempting to sell dogs to a population that does not want them while thousands of homeless dogs wait in the state’s animal shelters for good homes.”
Despite a requirement that it be so under Section 12(i) of The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, the DBU is not registered as a breeding facility with the AWBI, making it an illegal establishment. During the AWBI-authorised inspection, dogs were found constantly confined to kennels with hard floors and nothing soft to rest on, were never taken for walks and were never groomed. Instead, their days were spent in lonely isolation, deprived of the companionship and interaction that all dogs need and crave. The facility was also found not to be employing enough staff members to care for the animals.
The state Animal Husbandry Department claims that the DBU exists to promote breeds found in Tamil Nadu, including Rajapalayam hounds – which, unsurprisingly, experts admit suffer from deafness, weakness, shorter life spans and extremely low immunity levels since dogs who are deliberately bred for certain physical traits, including foreign-breed dogs, experience numerous health problems as a result. In fact, the DBU also sells foreign dogs, including Rottweilers and Dobermans, the breeding of which is banned or restricted in numerous countries under legislation designed for public safety. The other breeds found in Tamil Nadu that the DBU wants to promote are often used as hunting dogs, even though it is illegal to hunt wild animals under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, or as guard dogs, for which they will likely be relegated to a life on a chain.
The DBU is also operating at a loss – the total revenue that it has earned is nowhere close to the excessive expenditure that would be required to pay for staff, food, vaccinations, deworming and treatment for other medical conditions.
For more information, visit PETAIndia.com.