Petition for Amendment and Implementation of Prevention of Cruelty on Animals Act, 1960

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Animals have been part of our lives forever. It doesn’t matter if they are farmed animals or domestic animals or wild animals. Their lives are as much dependent on ours as ours on them and their well-being is our responsibility. These speechless animals know how to give love in abundance in return for some love and care. Then why is it so difficult for us humans to do just the same?

It is sensational news if a fellow human is hurt so why shouldn’t the same voice be raised for these animals? Though there are laws to prevent cruelty against animals, they are not stringent enough to impose fear in people of the consequences of doing such an act. That is why we are here to demand that you help us make our voice reach to the highest authorities in government for the change in the law as well as a system which will take the safety of animals seriously and impose strict punishments on those who break such laws.

It is heartbreaking, but cruelty to animals is rampant all over India and with the spread of this dreaded pandemic, levels of cruelty have actually risen. Brutal crimes are carried out on a daily basis against all types of animals, be they companion animals, farm animals, street animals, or even those living in the wild.  Most of the crimes are horrific in nature, beating animals to death, drowning them, running over them in vehicles, and even burning them.  Evidence of the worst types of cruelty is all around us. In the land of Ahinsa, this state of affairs is more than shocking.

There have been innumerable cases where animals are treated violently but never reported and if they are reported, no action is taken against the perpetrator and it is not just now that this situation has arisen but has been there for a long time. In 2016 an engineering student went on a killing spree in Green Park Metro Station where he stabbed to death three dogs and a puppy. This entire incident was recorded on CCTV camera and later under huge pressure from animal rights activists, he was arrested. In the year 2019 two security guards of an upscale apartment building in Mumbai allegedly killed a stray dog named Lucky by beating it to death for taking shelter in the rain. Similarly in the year 2020, a pregnant dog was beaten to death by a woman and few others with an iron rod in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. She fought for her life for eight days during which she had to go under surgery during which the doctors had to pull out the babies before she took her last breath.

         Currently, the Prevention of Cruelty on Animals Act, 1960 is the safeguarding Act against cruel actions against animals. However, it is 60 years old providing a maximum fine of Rs. 100 for cruelty against animals which remain unchanged despite the rising violent criminal acts against animals. Though, the first crimes against animals in India were punished through the Indian Penal Code in 1860, under section 428 and 429. These sections only inadvertently protect the animal as they were originally designed to protect the owner of an animal against any violence or killing of a valued animal priced at Rs. 10 and 50, which represents the market value of the animal if they were traded. These sections belong to Chapter XVII of the IPC which covers offenses against human property giving animals the status of property.

The present legislature is insufficient in providing stricter punishment to the culprits who get away with a meager fine of Rs.50 for murdering an animal. Moreover, cruelty by itself remains a much lower category of offense than brutal violence. We need different scales of crimes against animals starting from cruelty to abuse, violent assault, torture up to sexual abuse, and murder. In the USA, the FBI considers animal abuse in any form as a precursor to violent crimes against humans. This is based on years of study and data collection.  Thus stringent punishment against animal abusers will directly benefit society as a whole.

The Animal Welfare Board of India has done sterling work in this respect, preparing the Draft Animals Welfare Act 2011, offering amendments to make the laws much more stringent in the case of cruelty to animals. In the Amendment, the fine for the first offense should be Rs.10,000/- which may extend to Rs.25,000/- considering the intensity of the crime. For the second offense, the penalty would be Rs.50,000 to Rs.1,00,000 and the prison term, not less than one year, which may extend to three years.  This has not yet been passed and the year is 2020. The AWBI made another attempt in 2014 and made fervent appeals for the amendments to be passed. This attempt also failed at the Parliament level. In 2016 a private member again appealed for the PCA Act to be amended so that the punishments, penalties could be made more effective and adequate, that is the punishment should fit the crime. Again this was simply not considered in Parliament.

Therefore, to provide justice to these beautiful living creatures help us reach our voice to the highest authorities in government demanding to -

·   Amend the current Prevention of Cruelty on Animals Act, 1960 by increasing the punishment for crimes against animals to penalties that are commensurate to the acts committed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. We demand the government to protect the rights of animals just as they are obliged to protect the rights of every citizen.

·   To deliver guidelines to all the Police Stations of the country to fully investigate animal cruelty cases and provide proper assistance to the complainant. 

·   Amendment for the reconceptualization of crimes against animals under sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, without the requirement of any monetary value.

Every signature of yours counts and gives voice to that animal who is tortured or hurt or murdered.