Indian police got it wrong when they stopped cat owner popping out to buy cat food in coronavirus lockdown

Buying pet food is considered essential in any country during the coronavirus crisis and rightly so because governments can’t starve millions of cats and dogs to death. It is a surprise therefore to read that N Prakash living in Kochi, Kerala, India was told by police that he could not leave his home to buy cat food. He buys a special brand of biscuits for his three cats, we are told. He’s referring to dry cat food pellets or kibble.

3 domestic cats. These are not Mr Prakash’s cats. The picture is here to illustrate the page. Photo in public domain.

In India there is currently a lockdown from March 25th for 21 days. However it allows residents to leave their homes to purchase essentials such as food for humans and medicine. It also includes animal feed.

Prakash cited India’s animal welfare laws in court proceedings to overturn the police’s decision. Wow, that must have been an effort and how long did it take? He went to Kerala’s High Court for the judgement. That was brave of him and it shows real commitment.

The judge made light of it. He made a pun stating that his judgement which overturned the police’s decision averted a CATastrophe in the petitioner’s home.

Note 1: By general consensus it is considered unwise to solely feed dry food to domestic cats especially in a warm climate. I hope he also feeds wet food from time to time and provides a lot of fresh water. But I understand the difficulties that he probably faces.

Note 2: there have been many police mistakes in the UK on the matter of enforcing new laws concerning the coronavirus crisis. You can’t alltogether blame the police because the laws were rushed through and they are brand new. There is no history to call upon on how to apply them. In the UK a judge convicted a person using the wrong law! A whole raft of prosecutions made under the lockdown laws are being revisited as they are considered unsafe.

Note 3: Kochi is ranked the 6th best tourist destination in India.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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