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The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009

The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009  came into force on 25th August 2009 for the prevention, control and eradication of infectious and contagious diseases affecting animals. A bill named Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Bill, 2009 was enacted by the Ministry of Agriculture which was approved by both Houses of Parliament and got the Presidential assent on 20th March. The Act is applicable to all States and Union territories except State of Uttar Pradesh, where it came into force on 20 September 2011.

Section 2 of Chapter 1 defines the term “Animal” and Schedule “a” to “l” defines different types of diseases in the Act.  The Central and State government may amend the said Schedule under the Act.The State Government appoints Veterinary Officers who will inspect the local limits of their respective jurisdiction for such scheduled diseases. The Act also mentions that the owner of the infected animal to segregate such animal from gazing in free areas and Municipality, Panchayat or other local administration will segregate other infected animals.  State government may declare any area as controlled area to control the spread of scheduled disease and compulsorily vaccinate the animal. Section 11, 12 and 13 of the Act states about precautionary measures to be taken in relation to controlled areas and prohibition of infected animals to enter markets, fairs and exhibition and other places.  Under Section 14 and 15 the State appoints a Director to establish Quarantine Camps and Check Posts to prevent entry and exit of such infected animal into controlled area or free areas.  Section 31, 32 and 33 of the Act provides for penalties to those who are guilty of an offense punishable under the said Act.

Section 17, 18 and 19 of the Act states about the appointment of Competent Officers by State Government and their duties and powers.  Chapter III and Chapter IV covers the infected area and infected animals.  Veterinary Officer has the power to declare any area as he may deem it to be an infected area and also denotification of an infected area, after publication of the same in at least one local newspaper in the vernacular language.  Veterinary Officer, under the Act, has power to draw samples from any animal actually infected, hold postmortem examinations, seize the animal and remove it to a place of isolation or segregation, as he may deem proper.

All Municipal, Panchayat or Village Officers to assist and to give immediate information to the Veterinary Officer in the exercise of their powers under the said Act.  If the Competent Officer is obstructed by any person in performing his duties shall be guilty of an offense punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.  Fines imposed by a court shall be recovered in the manner provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Every Competent Officer, Director and Veterinary Officer shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code.  The Act also provides the Central and State Government to formulate rules in matters enumerated under the act.  Section 45 of the Act mentions about repealing of The Glanders and Farcy Act, 1899, The Dourine Act, 1910 earlier acts once the above mentioned Act has come into force.

Although the Act fulfills its objectives, it can be criticized on the ground that it does not contain any special provisions for any fake complaint or wrong report given by any person about infected animals or infected areas.

Some SAARC countries other than India follow below mentioned Act that relate to prevention and control of different types of contagious diseases in animals, they are as follows:-

1.         Nepal               Animal Health and Livestock Services Act, 2055 B.S. (1999 A.D.)

2.         Pakistan           Glanders and farcy Act, 1899;

3.         Sri Lanka          Animal Disease Act, No 59 of 1992

4.         Bangladesh       Animal Disease Act, 2005

India is a member of Office International des Epizooties (OIE) with its headquarters at Paris.  The OIE is an intergovernmental organization of 152 Member Countries.  OIE is devoted to the surveillance and control of animal diseases.  OIE operates under the authority and control of an International Committee wherein each member country has one vote.  There are different Regional Commissions and Specialist Commissions formed under the agreement.  OIE member countries maintains working conditions with International Organizations like WHO, FAO, WTO, UNCTAD, PAHO.