Amendment to Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act: Union ministry invites suggestions from public | India News – Times of India


CHENNAI: Every day, cases of cruelty to animals are reported across the country. But the perpetrators often get away unscathed as the penalty for a first-time offender is a meagre Rs 50 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960.
Animal welfare activists have been trying for decades to amend the Act and pushing for more stringent penalties. And now the general public also has an opportunity to weigh in the issues. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and the Union ministry of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying are accepting suggestions from the public.
“On April 15, the ministry of agriculture held a webinar inviting stakeholders to discuss amendments to the PCA Act 1960,” said Chinny Krishna, co-founder, Blue Cross of India, and former vice chairman of AWBI, adding that from 1996, the AWBI had been recommending changes to the PCA Act to the government.
“A draft Animal Welfare Bill was framed by the Board, and submitted to MoEF in 2010,” said Krishna.
Under the draft bill, the fines are hefty and prison terms are also included for those convicted of cruelty towards animals. “The penalties are substantially higher, with fines ranging from Rs 50,000 and above,” says Krishna. It also bans animal sacrifice and makes the five freedoms the basis of the new Act.
The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) had also run a ‘No More 50’ campaign. “About 150 parliamentarians also raised questions as to why the Act has not been amended,” says Krishna.
After the stakeholders meeting, the ministry has invited suggestions from everyone regarding the proposed amendments. “This is an opportunity for people to speak up,” says Sathya Radhakrishnan, honorary joint secretary, BCI. “They can mail their suggestions to”
The deadline for the public or any other stakeholders to send on their suggestions is April 25, 2021, says an AWBI spokesperson. “These suggestions will be considered before the draft bill is drawn up and submitted to the parliament.”

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