New Draft Rules To Protect Camels During Transportation in India

The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has issued two draft amendments on the transportation of animals. These draft amendments specifically focus on the welfare of camels. Both these draft rules were published on June 5, 2024.

The draft rules seek to amend the following regulations:

  1. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Transport of Animals on Foot) Rules, 2001 and
  2. Transport of Animals Rules, 1978 as amended in 2001 and 2009

Pertinently, both the proposed draft rules contemplate the creation of a new role of Jurisdictional Veterinary Officer. This officer shall fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Must be a veterinarian,
  2. Employed by the state government or central government in the area,
  3. Holds a degree from a recognized veterinary college and
  4. Is registered with the state Veterinary council or veterinary council of India

Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Transport of Animals on Foot) (Amendment) Rules, 2024

New Definitions for Camels

The draft rules now provide clear definitions for Adult Camel and Baby Camel.

Adult Camel is defined to mean the animal covered under family Camelidae including Bactrian, Dromedary and Wild Bactrian, both male and female including its progeny.

Further, Baby Camel means a camel below the age of two years.

Heat Stress Management

During hot weather between 12 deg. C to 30 deg. C, camels must be transported at night to minimize heatstroke risk.

Camel-Specific Transport Practices

The rules mandate specific practices for camel transport, including:

  • Gradual increase in walking pace to avoid injuries.
  • Avoiding uneven terrain that could cause leg injuries.
  • Slow walking while crossing sand dunes.

Draft Transport of Animals (Amendment) Rules, 2024

Camel Transportation Regulations:

A new chapter outlines specific rules for transporting camels by rail or road, including:

  1. Labeling requirements for each consignment of camels
  2. Prior notification to the consignee about transport details.
  3. Acceptable transport methods (railway wagons or specific vehicles).
  4. Proper positioning during transport (sternal recumbence or sitting position).
  5. Unloading camels every 10 hours during road transport.
  6. Attendant requirements for larger camel consignments.
  7. Safeguarding against injuries with a ban on sharp objects in transport vehicles.
  8. Ventilation and heat protection measures.
  9. Use of suitable ramps and platforms for loading and unloading.
  10. Tying camels with soft materials like cotton ropes, avoiding plastic, nylon, or jute.
  11. Providing adequate bedding (at least 12 inches of sand/straw).
  12. Space allowances and housing specifications during transport.
  13. Segregating aggressive camels and potentially using sedatives under veterinary supervision.

A valid health certificate as specified in Schedule M shall accompany with each consignment. This certificate shall be issued by a Jurisdictional Veterinary Officer. It shall certify that the camel is fit for transportation by rails or road, and is not showing sign of diseases. The Health Certificate shall not be less than one month old.

It must also be ensured that all the emergency veterinary equipment and medication have been made available to Livestock Assistant or veterinary nursing assistant detailed with the camel contingent. All the necessary veterinary medication and equipment shall accompany all the consignment camel.

Health Certificate for Transportation of Poultry

Additionally, the rules also introduce a new requirement for health certificate for transportation of poultry. The rules provide that mandatory health certificate issued by a qualified veterinarian must accompany each poultry consignment, ensuring the birds are fit for transport. This health certificate shall certify that the birds do not show any sign of diseases. The certificate shall be in the form specified in Schedule L of the draft rules.

Any suggestions, objections modifications on these draft rules may be sent to the Joint Secretary (Animal
Welfare), Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Room No. 245, Krishi Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi 110001.

Last date for furnishing public input on these draft rules is July 5, 2024.