After PETA India Plea, Assam Police to Book Animal Companion Deserters

For Immediate Release:

12 May 2020


Meet Ashar; [email protected]

Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

Police Also to Take Action to Ensure Animals in Pet Shops Are Fed

Guwahati – Following a letter from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to Assam’s director general of police the state police headquarters issued an order to the Guwahati city commissioner of police and all district superintendents of police directing them to ensure that action is taken against people abandoning animal companions over unwarranted COVID-19 fears and against cruel pet shop owners who let animals suffer in locked shops, as was also advised by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) in its circulars dated 11, 23, and 24 March.

“Breeders and pet shops sell animals to anyone willing to buy them – often on a whim – no matter their ability to care for them, and now, there’s concern that both pet shops and the people who buy animals from them are neglecting or abandoning animals in their care,” says Meet Ashar, associate manager of PETA India’s Emergency Response Team. “We thank the Assam police for directing its officials to ensure that those who treat animals cruelly during the COVID-19 crisis are booked under the stringent provisions of the law.”

The World Organisation for Animal Health says, “The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals spread the disease. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.”

In its letter, PETA India points out that in the advisory dated 11 March, the AWBI acknowledged that some people are abandoning their animal companions on the streets without food and water and urged law-enforcement authorities of states and union territories to take action against such offences. Via another advisory, dated 23 March, the AWBI requested that law-enforcement authorities ensure that no animals suffer from hunger during the lockdown. On 24 March, the AWBI also advised that district authorities must search pet shops in case animals are locked inside without adequate food, water, and ventilation and must rescue animals when necessary.

Under Sections 3 and 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, it is a punishable offence for a guardian to fail to provide an animal with sufficient food, water, or shelter or to abandon an animal to suffer from hunger and thirst.

For more information, please visit