For Immediate Release:
19 May 2015
PETA Case in Madras High Court Prompts Decision on Facility’s Closure
Chennai – As a result of a case filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India in the Madras High Court which was critical of the Tamil Nadu Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Department’s dog-breeding unit (DBU), an inspection of the facility was ordered by the court – prompting the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to recommend that the DBU be shut down. As per a 4 August 2014 order of the court, the DBU was given three months to improve, and if it failed, the final decision on the facility’s future would rest with the AWBI.
A fresh inspection of the DBU was conducted by AWBI-authorised inspectors from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, the Animal and Fisheries Resources Department of Bihar and Animal Rahat – an animal-protection organisation focused on veterinary intervention. Dogs at the DBU were found to be suffering from a high prevalence of skin diseases, pressure sores and ectoparasites and to have a high mortality rate – which had been an issue since AWBI’s first inspection of the facility in 2013.
The report further reads that the DBU failed to comply with important terms and conditions set forth by the AWBI while registering dogs at the facility under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001, and failed to implement a breeding policy and a standard operating procedure to prevent indiscriminate breeding and health problems caused by inbreeding.
“With stray dogs already crowding Tamil Nadu’s streets, it’s irresponsible for a government-sponsored facility to produce sick, potentially inbred animals to be sold to any person willing to buy them, without any sort of background checks”, says PETA India Director of Veterinary Affairs Dr Manilal Valliyate. “To make matters worse, the dog-breeding unit has demonstrated an inability to meet even the minimum standards of care for dogs. PETA India encourages all caring people to choose to adopt animals from shelters or the street and never buy them.”
Dogs at the DBU were kept constantly confined without any enrichment, and many of the animals showed signs of stress and depression, including a male Sippiparai named Pandy, who constantly bit the bars of his kennel. Despite the facility’s policy of “de-ticking” all animals once a week, two dogs were found infested with ticks. Many of the animals kept at the facility also suffered from dermatitis or mange – both painful skin conditions – including a female Rajapalayam named Priya, who had dermatitis on her face, legs and tail. No breeding records were kept, leaving dogs produced by the facility particularly vulnerable to genetic defects caused by inbreeding.
Pet shops and breeders contribute significantly to the number of dogs living on the streets and in shelters. The state Animal Husbandry Department claims that the DBU exists to promote breeds found in Tamil Nadu, including the Rajapalayam – which, unsurprisingly, experts agree suffers from deafness, a shorter life span, numerous health problems and extremely low immunity levels since this breed is deliberately bred for certain physical traits, such as white skin and a rosy nose. All types of dogs – pedigrees included – are frequently abandoned and either end up in Tamil Nadu’s severely crowded animal shelters, on the streets with India’s homeless dog community or being shuttled from house to house for their entire lives as buyers tire of them. Every time someone buys a dog from a breeding facility such as the DBU, a dog on the streets or in an animal shelter loses his or her chance at finding a good home. PETA encourages people who have the time, space and resources to welcome a dog into their home to stay away from breeders and pet stores and to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or the street.
For more information, visit PETAIndia.com.