In a bid to prevent animal abuse, a draft has been prepared by the government to amend the 60-year-old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, proposing penalty of Rs 75,000 or three times the cost of the animal or imprisonment up to 5 years or both if the animal dies.
Currently, if a person harms an animal, even if it leads to death is charged a mere penalty of Rs 10 to Rs 50 for any act of cruelty such as beating, kicking, torturing, starving, overloading, overriding and mutilating an animal.
The new draft has three categories of offences which includes minor injury, major injury leading to permanent disability, and death to an animal due to cruelty. The penalties range from Rs 750 to Rs 75,000 and jail term up to 5 years for different crimes.
“The need for amending the PCA, 1960, by introducing more stringent penalties has been recognised by the government. The draft amendment worked out includes increasing monetary penalties and punishment provisions,” said Giriraj Singh, Minister for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Furthermore, the government told the parliament that there are currently a total of 316 cases relating to animal cruelty which are pending in various courts across the country. 64 of such cases were pending in the Supreme Court while 38 were pending in Delhi High Court, it reiterated.