Enhanced penalties in draft Animal Welfare Act

Torture including over-drives and over-loads and unnecessary killing of any animal will be dealt with stringent punishment and heavy fines, according to the Environment Ministry`s proposed draft Animal Welfare Act, 2011.

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 18:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Beating, kicking, torture
including over-drives and over-loads and unnecessary killing
of any animal will be dealt with stringent punishment and heavy
fines, according to the Environment Ministry`s proposed draft
Animal Welfare Act, 2011.

Apart from this, the draft of the legislation to provide
for the welfare and well-being of animals also recommends
setting up of Animal Welfare Boards both at central and state
levels for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
"This legislation, which will replace the existing
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, will provide for
enhanced penalties and clearer definitions of animal abuse,"
the Ministry said in its note.

The Ministry, which posted the draft legislation on its
website, has invited comments by March 20.

If any person employs in any work any animal without
adequate rest, food or water and indulges in other cruelties
like keeping any animal chained, abandoning them to starvation
and thirst will have to face punishments including
imprisonment, if the Act is passed.
"It shall be the duty of every person having the care or
charge of any animal, whether as owner or otherwise, to ensure
the welfare and well-being of such animal and to prevent the
infliction of trauma, pain or suffering upon such animals,"
says the proposed draft legislation.

It clearly states that every such person should ensure
that an animal in his care has freedom from thirst, hunger and
malnutrition, freedom from discomfort due to environment,
freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express
normal behaviour for the species and freedom from fear and
distress.

The proposed draft legislation prevents persons or
institutions from performing experiments on animals "unless
permitted by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and
Supervision of Experiments on Animals, established under this
Act."

"The Animal Welfare Act, 2011 is an Act to provide for
the welfare and well-being of animals, and to prevent the
infliction of trauma, pain or suffering on them, and to
prevent unnecessary killing of animals, and for that purpose
to consolidate the law relating to prevention of cruelty to
animals and providing for their welfare generally," the
Ministry said.

PTI