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Respected Shri Giriraj Singh Ji,
Since time immemorial, Ahimsa has been a virtue held dear by the people of our land. We’re fortunate to have the precept deeply rooted in our culture and heritage. Despite this, we see several cases of violence, particularly directed at animals, on a daily basis. We write to you today in order to express our sincere gratitude for your role in beginning the review of the archaic Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and for considering raising the penalties associated with infringements through an amendment.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA Act), 1960, has never been under review in the 60 years of its existence. The fine it stipulates, of a meagre amount between Rs 10 and Rs 50, for any act of cruelty against animals, including beating, kicking, torturing, starving and mutilating an animal, is grossly inadequate and portrays these serious offenses as being legally insignificant. While animal rights organisations, activists, and welfare workers have constantly tried to mitigate animal cruelty in various forms, legal action against animal cruelty has always been the last resort, solely because of the obsolescence reflected by the existing law.
In the past few months, years, and decades, animal cruelty has seen an upsurge, with instances of abuse becoming increasingly graphic and barbaric. It is a widely known fact that a majority of animal abuse cases do not see the light of justice or public agitation, primarily because their conduct is either not known or does not check the boxes of newsworthiness. However, even the ones that do crop up on primetime news broadcasts and receive a public uproar are more often than not absolved or charged the petty fine under the archaic PCA Act, 1960.
Concerns arise with regards to the treatment of farm animals or “livestock” as well, because even though the PCA Act contains provisions to penalise cruelty towards livestock, the legal consequence for the same is negligible and inadequate. As with other provisions under this archaic law, animals in animal agriculture are also not protected due to the penalties not being a deterrent.
In addition to reforming the inadequate penalties in the PCA Act 1960, the act demands a reform by making incidences of animal abuse cognizable under law, in order to fasten and strengthen the legal process, and empower police officials to be able to make arrests in such matters without the requirement of a warrant and initiate an investigation without the need for a court order.
We sincerely hope that the archaic laws under this highly significant Act undergo considerable amendment to adopt penalties that not only portray legal significance but act as a strong and bold deterrent to future incidences of animal abuse. In the wake of increasing animal cruelty, we urge you, Shri Giriraj Singh ji and the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying to bring about a positive reformation in the animal welfare environment within India.
On one hand where we have people mark their devotion to deities and the non-human animals associated with them in places of workship, on the other hand, animals are also subject to immense cruelty in industries such as Dairy, Poultry, Entertainment, Cosmetics etc, and in their Day to Day lives.
Thousands of cases of cruelty towards non-human animals have come to light in the past few years that have enraged many and made one ponder as to whether the laws in existence are sufficient enough to protect animals and provide them justice.
Penalty for Animal Abuse in India, (under PCA Act 1960) ranges from ₹10 to ₹50 whereas in certain European Nations, penalty for Animal Abuse ranges from $2800 to $18,000 (₹205,000- ₹13,18,000) approximately, along with years of imprisonment.
You can read more about the state of India's archaic Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 here: https://voicelessindia.org/vegalog/f/how-stringent-are-animal-cruelty-laws-in-india
We have also sent a letter to Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying with concerns regarding the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and appreciated his initiative in reviewing this outdated law. You can see a copy of the letter below: