NEW DELHI: There was a long pending demand by civil society to revise the penalty for cruelty against animal but the proposed revision by the Centre is most likely to invite the ire of animal rights activists. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has proposed a minuscule revision of offences punishable with fines Rs 25 and 100 from existing Rs 10 and Rs 50.
The environment ministry has forwarded a cabinet note to concerned stakeholders on the prevention of cruelty to animals (amendment) bill 2016. The ministry proposes for introducing the amendment in the parliament for amending the PCA act 1960.
The proposed penalty in the case of cruelty against animal defined as “beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animals so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes or, being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated” has been increased from minimum Rs 10 to Rs 25 and maximum from Rs 50 to Rs 100.
Also proposed is increasing penalty from Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 for “phooka" or "doom dev" a process of introducing air or any substance into the female organ of a milch animal with the object of drawing off from the animal any secretion of milk.
“We are proposing to amend the PCA Act, 1960 and have circulated a draft cabinet note to all stakeholders. After we receive comments, it will be taken to the cabinet,” said an environment ministry official.
The need was felt for revising the penalty to make it deterrent. As the recent incident of a Chennai youth throwing a dog from the terrace while his friend video graphed the whole act invited lots of criticism as youth were charged with offences punishable with fines of Rs 10 and Rs 50.
On the minuscule penalties proposed in the draft, the official said that penalty is being increased nearly 100 percent and we cannot increase it exponentially.
There have been rising demands by animal rights activists to increase the penalty and even a draft Animal Welfare Bill 2014 was send to the parliament.