Sustainable Pet Trade Certification Standard

Standard Development Process Timeline Initiated from January 2019
Chairperson Mr. Hempande, IAS (retd), Former Secretary to the Government of India
Standard Development Group  Stakeholder Mapping being carried out

The pet population in India has grown from 7 million in 2006 to 10 million in 2011. On average 600,000 pets are adopted every year. The pet-care sector in India — already pegged at over Rs 81 billion is expected to grow at over 35% every year.

The Indian pet market is now an $800-million-plus industry and is expected to register strong double-digit retail value growth in the coming years.
Rising disposable income is a huge contributing factor for the growth of the pet industry in India, with the annual disposable income of Indians reaching $1.576 billion in 2012. According to Goldman Sachs, India’s GDP per capita in US$ terms will quadruple from 2007 to 2020, and the Indian economy will surpass the US by 2043.
Pet Trade
A pet serves as a companion animal to us humans and owning a pet has been turning into a growing culture all over the world. As a result, the pet trade has become a big business throughout the world, including in India. Although keeping a pet has got its positive aspects, many negative effects cannot be left unseen and ignored.
Some of these negative aspects that need to be discussed and worked upon for sustainable pet trade are as follows:

1. Breeding trouble: Breeders regularly mate closely related animals in an attempt to pass down certain characteristics, which has led to genetic defects in virtually every breed.

2. Standard of living in animal shelters: The pet animals are raised in cramped, crude, and filthy conditions in some animal shelters. In extensive breeding facilities, animals are kept constantly confined and deprived of adequate veterinary care and socialization.

3. Pet shops: Pet shops selling animals invariably keep animals in pathetic conditions. Also, many people impulsively buy animals from pet stores knowing little about their needs. Many animals which are purchased get abandoned or die from neglect or improper care due to lack of proper guidance and lack of pet rearing manuals.

4. Illicit Wildlife trade: Globally, the illegal trade of wildlife is estimated to be worth $19 billion per year and is rising at an alarming rate. The legal trade stands at a much higher $300 billion per year. Such massive global exploitation of wild animals and plants is bringing many of the species to the brink of extinction.
Given the unorganized nature of the pet trade, its integral links with illegal wildlife trade, concerns of invasiveness and its impacts on natural ecosystems, cruel means of rearing pets, and health concerns, developing standards in the pet trade is need of the hour. A well-designed certification standard for sustainable pet trade will address these concerns. Most importantly, it will promote conservation of wildlife, ease regulation of international trade in wildlife and their safety and enhance societal and industrial benefits.

We seek your valuable comments, feedback, and suggestions to take this idea forward and elicit the support of relevant stakeholders. Mail: 

Document Library

EoI for participation TOR SDG Pet Trade Draft Concept Note