PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMAL ACT
Copyright infringement not intended
Context: In a move to overhaul the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act-1960, the Centre has proposed to introduce 61 amendments in the six-decade-old law, including provision of three-year jail for committing “gruesome cruelty” and five-year imprisonment for killing an animal.
- In the draft, several offences have been made cognizable.
- The draft includes ‘bestiality’ as a crime under the new category of ‘gruesome cruelty’ and it defines gruesome cruelty as “an act that leads to extreme pain and suffering to the animals which may cause lifelong disability or death”.
- “Gruesome cruelty…shall be punishable with a minimum fine of Rs 50,000 which may be extended up to Rs 75,000 or the cost may be decided by judicial magistrate in consultation with the jurisdictional veterinarians whichever is more or with the imprisonment of one year which may extend up to three years or with both,” reads the draft proposal.
- The draft proposes a maximum 5-year imprisonment, along with a fine, for killing an animal. For this, a new clause, Section 11(B) has been proposed.
- The draft also proposes insertion of a new Section 3A, which provides ‘five freedoms’ to animals. “It shall be the duty of every person having charge of an animal to ensure that the animal in his care or under his charge has:
1) Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition;
2) Freedom from discomfort due to environment;
3) Freedom from pain, injury and diseases;
4) Freedom to express normal behaviour for the species; and
5) Freedom from fear and distress.
- In case of community animals, the local government shall be responsible for their care.
- The draft proposals introduce the community animal as “any animal born in a community for which no ownership has been claimed… excluding wild animals as defined under the wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (53 of 1972).”