The State Government is planning to submit a proposal before the Centre seeking heavy penalty for those transporting cattle under stressful conditions in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The existing penalty is so light that transporters get away scot free. As per Section 11(1) of PCA Act, the punishment for first offence is a fine of Rs 10, extending up to Rs 50. A second offence within three years of the first attracts a penalty of Rs 25 extendable up to Rs 1,000. The second offence may also lead to imprisonment up to three months along with the fine.
Considering the meagre fine provided under the Act, the Animal Resources Development Department has decided to submit a proposal with the Government of India seeking an amendment to the existing penal provisions. The decision was taken at a meeting on cattle transportation and related recommendations made by SP, Special Branch.
The meeting decided that cattle transport certificate will henceforth be issued in favour of cattle transporters which will be jointly signed by the representatives of Chief District Veterinary Officer, Regional Transport Officer and supervisor of cattle markets after observing mandatory provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
The certificate will be pasted on the front glass of the vehicle transporting the animals.
The Director of Agricultural Marketing has been asked to instruct the Regulated Market Committees (RMCs) to display wall paintings on highlights of the Act in all cattle markets coming under their respective jurisdictions.
The Veterinary Assistant Surgeons (VAS) and Additional VAS can issue health certificates after inspecting if cattle are provided with fodder, water and vaccination before transportation.
Currently, there are 117 cattle markets under the RMCs but the number of VASs under the disposal of CDVOs is inadequate to inspect them on all market days. Additionally, this is expected to cause dislocation of normal functioning of the Veterinary Directorate. In view of the shortage, Secretary of Animal Resources Development Department has directed that at least one VAS be deputed to the cattle markets on a specific day.
Since the number of kine house and pound houses in the State is low in the State, the Department will ask the urban local bodies as well as gram panchayats having cattle markets to augment their number, preferably along the national highways to shelter the detained animals. Awareness about the laws will be taken up through training programmes.