The Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the case of animals kept in zoos amid the outbreak of COVID-19. A writ petition was filed under Article 32 of Constitution of India seeking issuance of specific guidelines and directions in respect to “wild animals” confined in zoological parks located across country.
This cause came recently after the issue of Bronx zoo in USA where a tiger has been found COVID-19 positive and with respect to that high alert was issued by Central Zoo Authorities yesterday. The petitioner however has agreed to amend the Petition by inculcating these recent developments.
The petition is filed by animal rights activist Ms. Sangeeta Dogra who is an animal rights activist, hails from a defense family, is business analyst by profession, is follower of Global citizen concept, Ex NCC Cadet with A certification, trained taekwondo fighter and has helped less fortunate children with martial arts pro bono. The petition has prayed for following relief:-
- Directions to be issued to Government of India through its Secretary to add zoo animals food and diet supplies as essential services across country and allow weekly transportation for storage .
- Directions to be issued to Central Zoo Authority to immediately close down slaughterhouse opened within any of zoo premises across country.
The Petitioner while speaking to India Legal told that there are no hospitalization, isolation and quarantine facilities for sick animals in zoo. The petitioner further said that Laboratory for conservation of Endangered Species (Lacones) is needed and not National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) which Central Zoo Authority has called. Also, the Petitioner told India Legal that the zoo authorities sanitize the food which is given to animals but then they throw it in cage and these cages are not quarantined. There is need of medical teams comprising of Wildlife surgeon, Medicine Pathologist and admission facility for animals in hospitals.
The Supreme Court has asked petitioner to amend the petition and the matter will now be taken up on Monday i.e., 13th April, 2020 .
-India Legal Bureau