No More 50 – Increase Penalty for Animal Cruelty In India
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We are writing to you on behalf of People for Animals - Public Policy Foundation and Humane Society International/India, the country's largest animal protection organisations to request your support in urging the Hon’ble Prime Minister to increase the penalties for animal cruelty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Animals across the country suffer immense cruelty every single day. Animals on the streets, in pet trade, in laboratories, in circuses, animals employed for transportation, and many others are vulnerable to constant abuse and neglect. Various studies have revealed a shocking propensity for offenders charged with crimes against animals to commit other violent offences towards human victims. This is the reason why countless instances of animal cruelty and abuse in India must therefore be seen as a forewarning.
Unfortunately, the offences amounting to cruelty under the Act are not cognizable (other than animal fights, shooting animals & injecting harmful chemicals), which prevents the law enforcement agencies from taking immediate action. Additionally the offenders, even after conviction, are let off by paying a penalty of Rs 50, the penalty prescribed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The penalties under this Act, which start from Rs 10 to Rs 50 for a first time offender and Rs 100 for a repeat offender, have not been revised in the past 60 years and have long since become ineffective in deterring animal cruelty.
As a result, the law enforcement agencies are severely de-moralised when people accused of heinous crimes against animals, such as killing and mutilating or torturing animals, go scot free because of the out-dated penalties.
While moving the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill on 12th December, 1960 in the Parliament, the then Hon’ble Minister of Food and Agriculture Shri S.K.Patil stated:
“At the outset, I may say I do not claim that this is an ideal Bill. After 70 years, we are making an attempt for the first time to put on the statute at least something that will ultimately lead us on to the ideal bill, after some years of experience.”
Sadly, even after 60 years from the enactment and a great amount of experience later, the parliament has not taken up the amendment to the PCA Act 1960. The recent spate of sadistic animal abuse that has come to light includes and is not limited to skinning dogs and cats alive, hanging animals to death, sexual abuse of animals, setting animals to fire, crushing animals to death etc. In several instances videos of such acts have been put in social media by the perpetrators for popularity.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its verdict in the case of Animal Welfare Board of India Vs. A. Nagaraja, dated 07.05.2014, has also directed that penalties under the PCA Act be revised. An extract of the relevant directions is as below-
Parliament is expected to make proper amendment of the PCA Act to provide an effective deterrent to achieve the object and purpose of the Act and for violation of Section 11, adequate penalties and punishments should be imposed.
Parliament, it is expected, would elevate rights of animals to that of constitutional rights, as done by many of the countries around the world, so as to protect their dignity and honour.
Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution of India makes it incumbent upon every citizen of the country to be compassionate towards all living creatures. In neglecting to amend the Act so as to enable it to achieve its objective i.e., preventing animal cruelty, not only do we fail to comply with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, but we also fail to fulfill our fundamental duty as prescribed in the Constitution of India.
Ahimsa and compassion are integral to our culture and our being. The Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, had said “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Animal abusers being able to get away with a heinous crime of hurting a harmless animal prevents us as a country from reaching the greatness that we are destined for. Thus, it is essential to strengthen the Act and thereby redeem our culture of non-violence and compassion.
We request you to support this petition to Sh. Narender Modi our Hon’ble Prime Minister and Shri Giriraj Singh, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, urging him/them to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960, by making all actions & omissions amounting to cruelty to animals cognizable and updating the penalty prescribed to inflation corrected amounts as of 2020.
As a citizen of India, only you have this golden opportunity to make a difference in the lives of billions of animals, to alleviate their suffering and prevent infliction of pain & suffering on them.
Please utilize this opportunity so that the amendment is made and billions of lives are made better. Sign The Petition.
People For Animals - Public Policy Foundation
Humane Society International/India
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