The Centre will soon make laws against animal cruelty more stringent, and one will not able to get away with harming an animal by just paying ₹50 as under present law.
Union Animal Husbandry and Dairying Secretary, Atul Chaturvedi told The Times Of India that his ministry is "actively examining the issue related to increasing the existing penalties for cruelty to animals by amending the existing law".
Currently, The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960 stipulates a penalty between a mere sum of ₹10 and ₹50 for harming an animal, including beating, kicking, torturing, starving and mutilating the animal. None of these actions amounting to animal cruelty, as recognised under Section 11(1) of the PCA, are cognisable under the 60-year-old law, except organising fights and shooting matches that use animals.
Under the proposed amendments, such offences will be cognizable. Animals rights activists have been demanding such amendments for years now. Besides them, 12 MPs including Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot and seven others ruling BJP members have also raised concerns over the issue of "unreasonably low penalties' in the existing law to the Union Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Giriraj Singh.
Further, they flagged that the quantum of penalties was not reviewed a single time in the six decades of the existence of the PCA.
Anubhav Mohanty of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Mohammad Jawed and Vivek Tankha of the Congress are among the MPs who have written to the minister.