MPs voice for hike in penalties for animal cruelty

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New Delhi, May 5: An animal rights body on Wednesday claimed that many Parliamentarians have joined their campaign for increasing penalties for animal cruelty and have written to the Environment Ministry to strengthen the PCA Act.

Humane Society International (HSI) India and People for Animals (PFA) claimed BJP MPs Meenakshi Lekhi and Varun Gandhi too have joined them and written to the Environment Ministry to increase the penalty which is as low as Rs 10 at present.

animals

"In a boost to the HSI/India–PFA campaign asking for an increase in penalties for animal cruelty prescribed in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960 , Members of Parliament, Meenakshi Lekhi, Varun Gandhi, Udit Raj (BJP), Raghav Lakhanpal (BJP) and K Geetha (YSRCP) have written to the Environment Ministry...

"...to strengthen the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, and make it an effective deterrent by increasing the penalties for animal abuse. Currently, the minimum penalty for PCA Act is Rs 10 and the maximum is Rs 50. The law has not been amended for more than six decades since 1960," HSI India said in a statement.

The letters came after MP Poonam Mahajan filed a new private member bill, it said. The statement claimed that Lekhi, in her letter said that the PCA Act has not been revised since and the penal provisions are outdated.

"I wholly support Poonamji's Bill submitted in the Parliament seeking an amendment to the Act and hope that the issue will be given the due attention it requires," Lekhi said according to the statement.

Varun Gandhi has said that though PCA Act was a strongly worded law for 1960 when it was drafted, as it has not been amended since enactment, the penalties which acted as a deterrent in 1960 no longer protect animals from cruelty.

HSI India said the increase in the number of animal abuse incidents in the recent past, which includes the assault on the police horse 'Shaktiman' that ultimately resulted in its death, the brutal killing of puppies in Delhi and Bengaluru as well as the acid attack on a pony in Hyderabad, has put the spotlight on the pressing need to strengthen animal laws in the country.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, BJD MP Baijayant Jay Panda and BJP MP Satyapal Singh have already written to the Ministry to increase the penalties, HSI India had earlier claimed.

PTI

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