Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Now, cruelty to animals may invite Rs 1 crore fine!

Be cruel to your pet or any other animal at your own peril. For, an offender could end up paying up to Rs 1 crore as fine or be jailed for up to five years. The environment and forests ministry has proposed this hefty fine in its Animal Welfare Bill, 2011. For institutions or companies that show cruelty towards animals the penalty would be a whopping Rs 25 crore.

The proposed bill empowers the Centre to fix fines and penalties based on the severity of offence. It aims to regulate welfare of pets and animals used in performances and for scientific experiments.It would be construed as an offence if you don't take reasonable steps to ensure that the pet gets a suitable environment and diet, protection from pain, suffering and diseases.

"If any person beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering' or permits such cruelty he or she would be liable for penalty under the act when and if passed by the Parliament," says the provisions in the proposed bill.

Keeping animals chained for "unreasonable time" or abandoning a pet, or keeping it caged in a space that does not "permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement" would call for invoking the penal clause.

If an individual files a complaint against a pet-owner before a magistrate, police commissioner or SP in writing, the officer can send a sub-inspector to the 'errant' person's house to ascertain the truth. The officer can carry out search and seizure under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The courts could debar you forever for keeping a pet if they find you have been cruel before. However, there are several caveats to such a fiat.

The ministry has also set up a panel to oversee and regulate scientific experiments, where animals are used. No agency will be allowed to conduct experiments without the commission's nod.

While, national and state-level welfare boards will supervise animal welfare programmes and regulations

Courtesy : Nitin Sethi, Times News Network Jul 3, 2011.

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