Draft Prevention Of Cruelty To Animal (Amendment) Bill-2022:
The Government has introduced the draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Amendment) Bill-2022 to amend the six-decade-old law Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960.
- The draft has been prepared by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
- The draft includes ‘bestiality’ as a crime under the new category of ‘gruesome cruelty’.
- “Bestiality” means any kind of sexual activity or intercourse between human being and animal.
- Gruesome cruelty has been defined as “an act that leads to extreme pain and suffering to the animals which may cause lifelong disability or death”.
- A minimum fine of Rs 50,000 may be imposed and may be increased to Rs 75,000 by a judicial magistrate in consultation with the jurisdictional veterinarians, or the cost may be determined by the judicial magistrate whichever is more, or a maximum fine of one year that may be extended to three years.
- A maximum 5-year imprisonment, along with a fine on killing.
- The draft also proposes insertion of a new Section 3A, which provides ‘five freedoms’ to animals.
- It shall be the duty of every person having charge of an animal to ensure that the animal in his care or under his charge has:
- Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
- Freedom from discomfort due to environment
- Freedom from pain, injury and diseases
- Freedom to express normal behaviour for the species
- Freedom from fear and distress
- In the case of community animals, the local government shall be responsible for their care.
- The draft proposals introduce the community animal as “any animal born in a community for which no ownership has been claimed excluding wild animals as defined under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.