Government plans to slap higher penalty for cruelty against animals; draft bill likely in next Parliament session

Economic Times, October 04, 2021

The government plans to introduce a higher penalty and jail term for people perpetrating cruelty against animals and a draft bill to amend the existing law is likely to come up in the next Parliament session. At present, perpetrators of such acts often get away unscathed as the penalty for the first time offender is just Rs 50 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.

“We are ready with the draft amendment bill. We are in the process of getting the Cabinet approval,”. Union Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Poultry Minister Parshottam Rupala told PTI on Monday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of an event organised to celebrate World Animal Day at Kamadhenu Goushala in Guruguram.

At the event, Joint Secretary at the ministry and Chairman of Animal Welfare Board O P Choudhary said, “we have suggested an increase in penalty and even jail term under the draft amendment bill. Penalties have been suggested in a balanced way”.

According to him, the ministry will take the Cabinet approval and place the draft bill in the next Parliament session.

On Monday, the Union minister launched a portal of the Animal Welfare Board that will provide online approval to those engaged in animal welfare as well as those using animals in film shooting.

The minister emphasised the need to adopt scientific methods to protect cattles and setting up of cow hostel outskirts of cities.

“In cities, people living in apartments have no space even if they want to keep cows. So, the concept of cow hostel will be of great help. Those interested in rearing cow can buy one and take care in a hostel,” he said, adding that the government will promote such hostels by providing assistance.

Expressing concern over the fall in donations to goushalas (cow sheds) in the last few years, Rupala said there is a need to make them viable by encouraging them make different products from milk and byproducts of cattle.

He also said the dairy sector is key for doubling farmers income and urged people to buy cow-based products like cow dung diyas during Diwali, thereby promoting ‘vocal for local’.

The government is providing funds under central schemes to set up infrastructure, vaccine to animals and develop entrepreneurs, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Haryana Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Minister Jai Prakash Dalal said the state government has come out with stringent rules to protect cattles and set up goushalas.

The state has vaccinated cattles even during the pandemic as the dairy sector will help in doubling farmers’ income, he added.

Haryana Gousabha Ayog chief Shravan Kumar Garg were among others present at the event.

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