Supreme Court. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 7 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine a PIL seeking uninterrupted food supply and medical treatment for animals in zoos amid the three-week nationwide lockdown.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao asked Sangeeta Dogra, petitioner-in-person, to amend the petition including the prayer for medical check-up and treatment of animals in zoo, and posted the matter for further hearing on April 13.

Dogra cited a recent incident in New York, where a four-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia in Bronx Zoo contracted the deadly coronavirus from a caretaker, who was asymptomatic at the time.

She insisted before the court that Delhi Zoo, under Essential Services Act, has ensured its food supply for the animals during lockdown, but similar information has not been shared with other zoos in the country. Dogra contended food for the animals in the zoos is sourced through slaughter houses. Since there are no slaughter houses on the premises of the zoo, then it is extremely difficult to get from outside during the lockdown.

Dogra informed the apex court that Hyderabad Zoo had also sent samples of animals for testing of coronavirus on March 5. This signifies that in-house doctors are required for treatment of the animals. On this argument, the bench replied that as per its information animals don't die of coronavirus. The petitioner argued that they are capable of getting virus from the humans and transmitting them.

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