The Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Act 2022 Notes
Objective: Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Act to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals.
Key Provisions of the Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Act 1090
- The act discusses different forms of cruelty, exceptions, and killing of a suffering animal in case any cruelty has been committed against it, so as to relieve it from further suffering.
- Definition: The Act has established the definition of animals to include any living creature other than human beings and different forms of animals.
- Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI): The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.
- Punishment: This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals.
- In the case of a first offence, fine which shall not be less than ten rupees but which may extend to fifty rupees.
- In the case of a second or subsequent offence committed within three years of the previous offence, fine which shall not be less than twenty-five rupees but which may extend to one hundred rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with both.
- Experimentation: The act provides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.
- Performing animals: The Act enshrines the provisions relating to the exhibition of the performing animals, and offences committed against the performing animals.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 UPSC: Background
- Increasing animal cruelty: In the recent times, India has seen increasing cases of animal cruelty. According to a report by two animal rights groups, as many as 5 lakh animals became victims of crimes by humans over the past decade in India.
- Sexual abuse: A 2021 report by wildlife advocacy groups recorded 82 cases of animal sexual abuse between 2010 and 2020, out of 5 lakh animal-related crimes in India.
- Gruesome incidents: While acts of everyday stoning or beating animals are widespread and commonplace, sometimes the offence takes on grotesque and perverse forms.
- Animal Welfare Board of India Vs A Nagaraja & Others, 2014: The Supreme Court had said that “Parliament is expected to make proper amendment of the PCA Act, 1960 to provide an effective deterrent” and “adequate penalties and punishments should be imposed”.
Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill-2022
- Five freedoms to Animals: The draft bill proposes the insertion of a new section providing five freedoms to animals.
- Community animals: In the case of community animals, the local governments shall be responsible for taking care of them in a manner developed by the State Government or by the Board.
- The draft defines “community animal” as “any animal born in a community for which no ownership has been claimed by any individual or an organization, excluding wild animals as defined under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- Gruesome cruelty: The Act defines gruesome cruelty as “an act that leads to extreme pain and suffering to the animals which may cause lifelong disability or death”.
- It is punishable with a fine of Rs 50,000 or up to Rs 75,000, or the cost may be determined by the judicial magistrate in consultation with the jurisdictional veterinarians, or with imprisonment of one year or up to three years or both.
- Bestiality as a Crime: The draft includes ‘bestiality’ as a crime under the new category of ‘gruesome cruelty’.
- “Bestiality” means any kind of sexual activity or intercourse between human being and animal.
- Imprisonment for killing the animal: The draft proposes a maximum 5-year imprisonment, along with a fine, for killing an animal. For this, a new clause has been proposed.