AMEND THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT IN INDIA
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Enclosed here with is the tragic scenes of killing of animal violating Supreme court order regarding the implementation of Animal Birth Control Program. These scenes occurred in a place named Njharakkal in Ernakulam District where stray dogs were killed in broad day light by members of local body. All these cruelties happen in India mainly because of the fact the PCA Act does not contain any provision to punish these offenders with a jail term. At present, if a person kills a stray dog, he has to pay only Rs. 50 as a fine and go scot-free.
The main law pertaining to cruelty to animals in India is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act 1960), which has not been amended even once since its inception to keep up with the times. The Animal Welfare Board of India (a statutory body constituted under PCA Act to protect animal rights) maid a set of three rules: Pet Shop Rules, 2010; Dog Breeding, Marketing and sale Rules 2010; and the Acquirium Fish Breeding Rule 2010. These were placed before the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) in 2010. However, no action has been taken by the MoEF yet. The AWBI even requested the Law Commission of India to look in to the MoEF is authorized under the PCA Act to notify such rules. The Law Commission in its 261st report, under the chairpersonship of Justice A.P. Shah, stated “It appears that the provision of the law are violated with impunity by pet shop and breeders. In these circumstances, the Commissions recommends that the Central Government must seriously take cognizance of the issue and regulate trade in pet shops…. and the MoEF has the authority to make these rules”. It added: “The Commission recommends that the rules be notified and implemented at the earliest”.
The Law Commission is not a binding body, but the regimentation and the gravity of these horrors that play out every day in the street and in the pet shop industry cannot just be brushed aside by the MoEF. Even the Supreme Court in its famous Jallikattu judgment, “Animal Welfare Board of India vs A. Nagaraja (2014), exhorted Parliament to amend the PCA Act. The Court said: “Parliament is expected to make proper amendment of the PCA Act to provide a effective deterrent to achieve the object of and purpose of the Act and for violation of section 11, adequate penalties and punishments should be imposed.
It does not believe a civilized society and the world’s largest democracy to not have legal protection for the voiceless, especially given the extent of cruelty perpetrated against them it flies in face of our constitutional duty under Article – 51A (g) of our Constitution, which enjoins us to have compassion for all living beings and not to just humans, to act immediately.
Mahatma Gandhi famously said, “The greats of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.
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