March 30, 2016
Bring in New Animal Welfare Act, Urges Animal Welfare Board of India
Recent rise in animal cruelty incidents highlights need for stronger enforcement of animal protection laws
Responding to recent incidents involving animal cruelty in India, Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), India’s apex animal welfare advisory body has stressed the need for enforcing stronger animal protection laws. In a letter to the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, the AWBI has urged an enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill, 2014 to monitor and curb crimes involving animal cruelty. In the past, L.K. Advani, Poonam Mahajan, Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Mahesh Giri and other MPs as well as Humane Society International/India, have also appealed to the MoEFCC asking for a stronger law.
Chairman of AWBI, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Dr. R. M Kharb, stated in the letter, “A strong animal protection law is the need of the hour not just in view of the rise in animal abuse and crimes against animals, but also because there is a very high level of positive interest among many people in ensuring that animals are protected. The draft Animal Welfare Bill, 2014, is reflective of the Supreme Court’s vision, and its declarations and directions set out in its judgment in the A. Nagaraja case. It also provides for substantially higher penalties than the existent provisions. I therefore urge to the Ministry to consider the bill and work towards the purpose of its enactment.”
In Animal Welfare Board of India vs A. Nagaraja, the Supreme Court of India had urged the parliament to make proper amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
Humane Society International/India has collaborated with People for Animals in urging the government to increase the penalties for animal cruelty in the country.
N G Jayasimha, managing director of HSI/India, said; “Currently, the paltry fine of Rs 50 allows abusers to get away with animal cruelty. The punishment in cases of animal abuse has to be compoundable and until that is done, abuse on animals will only steadily increase. It is imperative that punishment for animal cruelty is made adequate and Animal Welfare Bill, 2014 be introduced to establish higher standards of animal welfare in the country.”
The rise of animal abuse incidents in the recent past, which includes the assault on the police horse Shaktiman, the cold blooded murder of puppies in Delhi and Bengaluru as well as the acid attack on a pony in Hyderabad, has put the spotlight on the pressing need to strengthen animal laws in the country.
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