Dozens of ‘Cats’, ‘Dogs’ and ‘Cows’ Call on Government to Pass New Animal Welfare Act

For Immediate Release:

14 October 2011


Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]

Himani Shetty; [email protected]

Current Laws Are Antiquated and Lack Teeth to Deter Abuse, Says PETA

Delhi – Disguised in cat, dog, goat, cow and other animal masks and holding signs that read, “HELP US! Pass Animal Welfare Act, 2011”, a cadre of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India supporters will gather at Ramlila Maidan for a photo opportunity on Saturday. The group aims to persuade the Ministry of Environment and Forests to pass the new draft Animal Welfare Act, 2011. PETA points out that penalties for cruelty under the current animal protection law – the 5-decades-old Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 – are woefully weak and have little to no deterrent effect on animal abusers. Ramlila Maidan has been traditionally favoured by freedom fighters, including iconic anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who recently addressed thousands of his supporters there.

When:            Saturday, 15 October, 12 noon sharp

Where:          Ramlila Maidan, Delhi

“A 10-rupee fine won’t stop abusers from overloading a bullock cart or beating a homeless dog”, says PETA India campaign coordinator Himani Shetty. “While the government keeps the new law on the back burner, animals are suffering and dying, and their abusers are getting away with murder. The new Animal Welfare Act has the teeth it needs to take a bite out of cruelty.”

Currently, the penalty for cruelty to animals is between 10 and 50 rupees for the first offence, which may go up to 100 rupees for a subsequent offence or up to three months in prison. The proposed Animal Welfare Act, 2011, if passed, would result in the penalty for cruelty to animals being at least between 10,000 and 25,000 rupees or imprisonment for up to two years – or both – for a first offence. For a subsequent offence, the penalty would be between 50,000 rupees and one lakh rupees and imprisonment for one to three years. Recent news reports indicate, however, that the penalty could be made even higher by the passing of the proposed legislation.

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