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August 5, 2016

Mumbai MP Poonam Mahajan Introduces Private Member Bill to Amend The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

Bill to increase fine on animal cruelty moved in response to growing cases of animal cruelty in India

Humane Society International/India

  • Picture of cow herd, HSI

In a move that will boost the demand by animal welfare advocates for stronger animal laws in India, a private member bill was moved today in the Parliament session by Member of Parliament of BJP, Smt. Poonam Mahajan seeking an increase in the penalties for animal cruelty through an amendment of the PCA Act. The bill was introduced in the wake of a nationwide campaign called #NoMore50 initiated by leading animal welfare organizations Humane Society International/India and People for Animals to increase the penalties for animal cruelty.

In the aftermath of some of the most gruesome animal cruelty incidents that India has witnessed recently, people from all walks of life including MPs, political leaders, celebrity, academicians and others have demanded for adequate punishment for animal cruelty. In the past two months, MPs and leaders across party lines including Shri. L.K. Advani (BJP), Dr. Satyapal Singh (BJP), Shri Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda (BJD), Dr. Shashi Tharoor (INC), Shri Varun Gandhi (BJP), Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi (BJP), Dr. Udit Raj (BJP), Shri Raghav Lakhanpal (BJP), Shri Malyadri Sriram (TDP), Smt. K Geetha (YSRCP), Shri Siddharth Luthra, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India and Shri A.P. Shah, Chairman of the Law Commission of India have appealed to the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for stronger animal protection laws.

Smt. Poonam Mahajan while introducing the bill in the Parliament Session in the objectives said, “There is an urgent need to amend the penal provisions of the Act in compliance with the judgement of the Supreme Court and to prevent the unnecessary pain and suffering to animals and to ensure that the Act is deterrent to animal abusers.”

Ambika Nijjar, Advocate and Legal advisor of People for Animals said, “We thank Smt. Poonam Mahajan for lending her support in urging the Government to amend the PCA Act, 1960. With all the animal cruelty incidents that we have been witnessing on a daily basis, it has become the need of the hour to take a fresh look at the penalties laid in the Act. Even the Supreme Court has acknowledged the fact that all animals are sentient beings and should be treated with respect. It’s about time that the Parliament also acknowledges the same. We are hopeful that the introduction of the bill in Parliament session will compel the Government to sit up and take notice of the issue.”

The increase in the number of animal abuse incidents in the recent past, which includes the assault on the police horse Shaktiman that ultimately resulted in her death, the brutal killing of puppies in Delhi and Bengaluru, dog thrown off a terrace in Chennai as well as the puppies burnt alive in Hyderabad has put the spotlight on the pressing need to strengthen animal laws in the country.

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

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