Sunday, August 20, 2017

Who let the dogs into IGI airport?

New Delhi: Charlie, a one-year-old Rottweiler, landed at the IGI Airport in a small dog kennel last week. But he had to wait at the airport for more than 24 hours before being deported to Istanbul from where he had flown. Because the airport authorities found out that the dog was brought illegally to India by a couple.

It is not an isolated story. Many other pets are being brought to the country with the help of tourists visiting these countries. Import of pets for breeding or any other commercial activities is not permitted in India.
Two such cases have been reported at the airport in past 10 days pointing to the fact that an international pet smuggling racket has started spreading its wings. In a customs department meeting held last week, officials discussed this new trend and requested officials not to allow pets with passengers travelling on tourist visas, which is illegal.

On Thursday, a one-and-half-year-old Greyhound, Max, was brought to Delhi from Russia in a similar fashion. He was kept for a day at the airport pet room as his owner had no documentation for bringing it to India. “The visiting Russian woman was married to an Indian. When asked, they admitted that the dog was brought here for cross-breeding. Later, the couple refused to take the pet’s responsibility,” said a senior airport official, requesting anonymity.
Last year, a notification was issued that stated: “NOC is required if someone is bringing a pet to India, but passenger will not be allowed to enter India if he/she is on a tourist visa.” Added the official: “It has been found that agents are sending pets to India with people on tourist visa. The carrier is responsible for bringing expensive pets and hand them over to buyers here. They use these pets for cross-breeding to earn money.”
19/08/17 Ankur Sharma/New Indian Express