New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a government body, has notified the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology that e-commerce portals such as OLX and Quikr are trading live animals without being registered as “pet shops”, the India chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said on Thursday.

This came after PETA India urged AWBI to stop e-commerce portals from trading in live animals.

Pursuant to this, the agency notified the ministry that these companies are doing that without being registered as “pet shops” and advised that such e-commerce platforms must be stopped from trading.

Earlier, the AWBI had advised the states and Union Territories to ensure that unregistered pet shops and dog breeders are not allowed to reopen after the lockdown.

In the latest circular to the ministry, the board acknowledged that despite its advisory, unregistered dog breeders and pet shops continue to indulge in the illegal trade.

Recent RTI responses from states and UTs across India also confirmed that most pet shops — including online platforms — and dog breeders operating in the country are not registered with state boards.

PETA India had complained to the AWBI that unregistered pet shops and dog breeders can easily circumvent animal protection regulations by trading in animals online, and that mistreatment and neglect of animals are frequently rife in these unregulated operations.

“The AWBI has called for a crackdown on the illegal sale of vulnerable live animals,” said PETA India Corporate Liaison Mallika Roy.

Roy added, “Animals suffer when they are traded online as if they were handbags or teacups rather than living, feeling beings, and PETA India is urging people to adopt only from reputable animal shelters that do thorough checks for good homes.”

–IANS

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