Confiscated Bullock Torture Devices to Go On Public Display in Delhi

For Immediate Release:

10 October 2011


Dr Manilal Valliyate; [email protected]

Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Animal Rahat Makes Plea to Ministry of Environment and Forests to Increase Penalties for Cruelty in New Animal Welfare Act

Delhi – Seized during the Chinchali Animal Fair and at sugarcane factories, dozens of cruel devices used to whip and painfully restrain bullocks will be on display near the office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in Delhi on Wednesday. Animal Rahat – an organisation dedicated to helping animals who are forced to work – has taken possession of the devices and is calling on the Ministry to pass the draft Animal Welfare Act, 2011, which would substantially increase the penalties for cruelty to animals. Among the shocking and gruesome-looking devices will be sticks with rope used for whipping as well as razor-sharp wire or metal rods with protruding nails that are pushed into animals’ necks in order to restrain or control them.

When:              Tuesday, 11 October, 12 noon sharp

Where:             Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 

“Animal Rahat has documented that animals used to haul heavy loads routinely suffer from dehydration, wounds, painful lameness and severe stress”, says Animal Rahat Programme Manager Dr Sudheesh Nair. “These confiscated devices show that the animals are also suffering from the infliction of severe pain. Old laws to prevent this cruelty have proved ineffective time and again. The new Animal Welfare Act must be passed to let those who torment bullocks and other animals know that their days of getting away with this kind of torture are over.”

According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, anyone who “beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject [the animal] to unnecessary pain or suffering …” commits a punishable offence. Unfortunately, the penalties for violating this protection are minimal. In the case of a first offence, the fine is 10 to 50 rupees. For second and subsequent offences, the penalty is a fine of 25 to 100 rupees and a maximum jail sentence of three months. It is expected that the Animal Welfare Act, 2011, will raise the penalty for cruelty to animals. First offenders would face a fine of between Rs 10,000 and 25,000 or up to two years’ imprisonment or both. Subsequent offences would result in even harsher punishments.

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