Updated: Jul 26, 2020
If there is any place or situation that could be ‘a hell on earth’ for dogs, it would be this.
A trade with two-faces. A horrifying process that gives birth to innocence with four paws and a tail. An industry with the ideal weapon to defend itself with - demand.
And yes, you’ve guessed it right; we are referring to Puppy Mills.
What is a Puppy Mill?
A Puppy Mill, also known as a ‘Puppy Farm’ has been described as a for-profit establishment that employs coercion or force to breed dogs. It has also, time and again, become infamous for having abusive, inhumane and substandard conditions. Well, in other words - these mills attempt to “churn out” little puppies without putting in enough effort.
Why do Puppy Mills exist?
A fascination with pedigree (pure-blood) breeds has created the obnoxious opportunity of Puppy Mills across the globe. In India, it has taken over for two main reasons:
1. A rapidly growing market for pure-bred dogs 2. A desire to get them at the lowest price possible
As importing foreign dogs costs more, Puppy Mills allow dog traders to forgo the overheads. Thus, these factories produce diverse dog breeds at the lowest costs.
What happens inside Puppy Mills?
A male or female dog confined within the walls of a Puppy Mill undergoes more suffering than one can imagine. They are locked up in compact wire cages and forced to mate with one another, repeatedly. And when the puppy is born, he or she is taken away from the mother soon after. This causes them to develop serious health and/or behavioral issues.
What makes Puppy Mills unethical?
It could be said that Puppy Mills are much worse for more reasons than mentioned above. Here are some instances that take place in the average mill:
Dogs are forced to breed every heat cycle, which usually leads to their demise.
They are left in their excretory waste without any sanitary care.
They are killed if the millers deem them “useless” or incapable of reproducing.
They are not given veterinary attention that makes serious health problems worse.
They are not bathed or cleaned for long periods of time.
They are not protected against harsh weather such as heat or cold.
They are not loved or cared for by the staff working at the mill.
Hence, the bottom line here is that Puppy Mills are profit-driven and avoid expenses over necessities such as veterinary care, quality food, shelter or staff to take care of the dogs.
Are Puppy Mills legal in India?
As the cruelty that takes place inside Puppy Mills has become evident, many nations have banned the retail of puppy mill dogs in pet stores as well as the internet. But, India has still not made it to the list. So yes, owning and operating Puppy Mills in India is legal.
However, there are laws implemented by the Government of India that regulate the activity of breeding dogs. Some of them are outlined under the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breed and Marketing) Rules, 2017’ and they are:
Prohibition on Breeding Dogs without Registration:
The rule states that no breed can breed, or own and house dogs with the intent of sale without a certificate of registration of the establishment being used for breeding from the State Board [Para 3.(1)].
Registration of Breeder and Establishment:
A breeder is required to be more than 18 years of age and in a sound mind or a duly registered corporation/association [Para 4.(1)].
Inspection of Establishment:
The State Board can send an inspector to the breeder’s establishment on receiving a complaint or for any other reason [Para 7.(1)]. The inspector has unconditional access to all the areas in the establishment, its animals and records [Para 7.(2.a)]. Every registered establishment will be inspected at least once a year [Para 7.(3)].
Conditions of Sale:
Breeders are prohibited from selling pups less than eight weeks old [Para 8.(1.a)], and intact dogs over six months of age (unless being sold to another licensed breeder) [Para 8.(1.b)]. The breeder must provide details of the dog, like feeding schedule, dates of inoculation and deworming of the pup, and the name and address of the veterinary practitioner who was attending to it in writing to the purchaser [Para 8.(2)]. They must also screen prospective purchasers for their potential to take proper care of the breed, to attend to its grooming, socializing, spatial and veterinary needs, and to bear the expense for its upkeep and maintenance [Para 8.(3)]. Breeders are also prohibited from selling their pups to unlicensed pet shops, or for any other activity that is illegal [Para 8.(4)].
‘The Second Schedule’ also prescribes the ‘facilities to be provided by the breeder in an establishment’, ‘general requirements’, ‘health-related requirements’, and ‘housing facilities and manner of housing dog’. All these points cover the ethical conditions that Puppy Mills are expected to operate in.
What does Litter Fam think about Puppy Mills?
LitterFam believes that the crimes committed by Puppy Mills should be stamped as illegal within India. As this practice continues to oppose animal rights, it also makes those standing by it a little less human. It’s time to work our way toward ethical breeding of dogkind.