The High Court of Tripura Tuesday ordered the authorities under the Wildlife (Protection) Act to take action regarding the closure of all such stores in the state of Tripura where animals and birds notified under the law are sold.
The bench of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice SG Chattopadhyay requested a compliance report / order in this regard within two weeks.
The case before the Court
Essentially, the court was hearing a 2015 PIL filed regarding the prevention of cruelty to animals and highlighting the poor conditions of some stray animals and pets in the capital of Tripura, Agartala.
The applicant’s lawyer testified before the Court that in the town of Agartala there are up to 9 pet shops and, to his knowledge, none of the owners of these shops have obtained registration under the rules of prevention of cruelty to animals (pet shop), 2018.
It is important to note that rule 3 of these rules provides that no person shall operate a pet facility without registration. These pet stores keep dogs, cats and birds in small cages.
She argued that the condition of the animals kept in these pet stores is pitiful. They are locked in small cages without proper ventilation, sunlight or sanitation. It has also been argued that there is no monitoring on their conditions or even whether they are properly fed or not.
Pursuant to the Court’s instruction, the Department of Animal Resources Development, through its Deputy Secretary, filed an affidavit stating that there are up to 12 animal facilities operating in the town of Agartala. without registration, and the twelve store owners were asked to obtain a license from the State Council for Animal Welfare.
Observations of the Court
From the outset, the Court was surprised that once the authority found that the 12 (twelve) animal facilities and breeding centers were not approved, they were legally required to act in accordance with the law and to order the immediate closure of all these activities which cannot be carried out without the necessary license.
Therefore, the court ordered the National Council for Animal Welfare and the Municipal Corporation of Agartala to ensure that all these illegal pet shops and breeding centers that operate without a necessary license are immediately closed.
However, the Court ordered that as the necessary applications are made, the necessary inspection must be carried out, and if the same is found to be in order, then only licenses can be granted to them.
Finally, the court issued directions to authorities under the Wildlife Protection Act and set the case aside for a new hearing on December 7, 2021.
Click here to download the order