The animal husbandries plan that aims to protect animals from dogmeat trade has been delayed in a move that has angered animal rights activists.
The plan, which has been approved by the Cabinet, was expected to be submitted by the end of this month, but it is now being delayed due to the Government’s “aggressive” anti-animal-welfare campaign.
“We were disappointed by the delay,” said M.S. Mehta, president of the Delhi-based animal husbandriers group, Save the Animals.
“We had wanted this plan to be sent out before the December 3 deadline.
The Cabinet has gone ahead with the plan.
The problem is that the Cabinet has no intention of taking any action against the Government, despite the fact that we have written to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary on behalf of our organisation.”
Mehta said the plan is “not only for animals but also for all other animals” and that the Government is “trying to create a fear and uncertainty in the hearts of people”.
Animal welfare activist Jagdeep Singh also said the delay was a “disgrace” for the Government.
“This plan was to be made public this month,” he said.
“But it was sent back to the Ministry of Environment on December 3 without any progress.
We have been fighting this for the past 10 days.
We were hoping that the Minister of Environment would act on this issue.”
He added that the Animal Welfare Board (AWB) would “never” agree to the delay.
The AWB has been involved in an anti-dogmeat campaign, with animal rights activist Arjun Bhatia leading an investigation into a Delhi slaughterhouse which he said had been operating illegally.
The Delhi-headquartered Animal Welfare Advocacy Alliance, an animal welfare group, has also launched a petition in the Delhi High Court against the AWB for not taking action against a slaughterhouse run by an NGO run by former chief minister Sheila Dikshit.
It has also demanded an investigation to determine whether the government is in violation of the Animal Marriage Act by allowing a slaughter house to operate illegally.
On December 2, the Animal Husbandry Committee of the Indian Council for Animal Welfare (ICAW) had recommended that the Prime Minster order an investigation.
The decision to delay the plan was taken following pressure from the animal husbandrys group and the animal rights organisations, who said that the delay will damage the animals’ lives and cause damage to their welfare.
Animal husbandry groups say the Government has failed to take measures against animal cruelty.
“They should immediately launch an investigation on the slaughterhouse and take action against it immediately,” said B.K. Bhargava, general secretary of Animal Husbands Association, a Delhi- based organisation.
“If the plan to save dogs is not acted upon, then what are we going to do to save other animals?”