Q. What should be looked for when animals are being transported?
A. The general conditions laid down in section 98 of The Transport of Animals Rules, 1978 should be strictly adhered to. If the general conditions with regard to the transportation of animals are not met, the animals should be immediately unloaded and sent to the nearest animal shelter. Some further conditions that must be observed are:
. The transport vehicle must be large enough to carry animals comfortably and the animals must not be tightly packed and jammed inside. The animals should be protected from the weather.
- Animals are not allowed to be transported by tempo.
Within the vehicle, partitions must be provided at every two or three metres across the width to prevent the crowding and trapping of animals.
Sufficient food and water shall be carried to last during the journey and watering facility should be provided at regular intervals.
First aid equipment should be available in the vehicle.
Suitable ramps should be provided for loading and unloading the animals.
Material for padding such as straw, shall be placed on the floor to avoid injury and this shall be not less than 5 cm thick.
Apart from this, there are specific rules for transporting different categories of animals provided under The Transport of Animals Rules, 1978 which specifies the maximum number of animals that can be carried by different types of vehicles. Overloading of animals amounts to treating of animals cruelly under section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The offender ( in the case of a first offence) will have to pay a fine which shall extend to fifty rupees (this can be read as per animal) and if it is a case of a second or subsequent offence committed within three years of the previous offence, he will be fined with not less than twenty-five rupees but which may extend to one hundred rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with both. Also, in the case of a second offence, the offender's vehicle will be confiscated, and he will never be allowed to keep an animal again.