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August 25, 2016

Depiction of animal cruelty prohibited on cable and television

HSI/India welcomes measure and urges the public to report any cruel and illegal depiction of animals to its tipline

Humane Society International/India

  • Animals used for entertainment are subjected to immense cruelty. Frank Loftus/HSI

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a notification to prohibit the depiction of cruelty or violence towards animals in any form on all television, cable and other broadcasting networks. The Ministry’s notification, which amends the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994, follows rigorous campaigning by Humane Society International/India and People for Animals. HSI/India is also encouraging people to report the depiction of animal cruelty on TV and cable shows to its tipline number 91-7674922044.

Gauri Maulekhi, government affairs liaison for HSI/India and People for Animals trustee said, “We thank the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for their proactive measure in combatting animal cruelties on visual media in consonance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The amendment, if effectively implemented, will spare animals from cruelty during training and performance in the entertainment industry. We urge people to report to the tipline number, 91-7674922044, any content on TV which depicts cruelty or violence towards animals.”

For the past two years, HSI/India and PFA have met with the Ministry of I&B and submitted recommendations to discontinue the portrayal of animals in shows where they are required to perform unnatural acts or stunts at risk of grave injuries or even death. Several shows also glorify superstition and mislead the viewer into believing myths by portraying animals, specifically snakes, as revenge-seeking serpents.

The new rules don’t apply to news or education programs as long as these don’t promote violence towards animals or show animal cruelty in a positive light or unscientific manner. The rules are now known as Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2016.

HSI/India’s cruelty response team is working to address and resolve incidents of animal cruelty across various platforms, including on streets, in advertisements, TV programmes and social media. In the recent past, HSI/India’s tipline number has helped in successfully identifying culprits of animal cruelty incidents including a dog bestiality case in Kerala, and in the dog shooting and puppy burning cases in Hyderabad.

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, email: nmukherjee@hsi.org, mobile: 91-9985472760


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