Major changes under the Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022
The major changes proposed to ensure the protection of animals under the 2022 Amendment Bill you must know-
- It aims to provide stringent punishments to animal abusers in order to prevent animal cruelty.
- Several offences under the Bill are made cognizable which means the offenders can be arrested in the absence of a warrant.
- The inclusion of bestiality as a crime under the new category of ‘gruesome cruelty’ is proposed by the bill.
What is gruesome cruelty?
- The subsection gruesome cruelty includes any act that involves animal(s) which can cause extreme suffering and pain to the animal to an extent likely to leave the animal(s) in life-long disability.
- The animal cruelty offences under this section can result in fines from Rs.50,000 to Rs.75,000 or the cost of the animal, whichever is more, or imprisonment of one year that can be extended up to 3 years or both.
- Imprisonment up till five years can be awarded for killing an animal. For this, a new clause section 11 (B) has been added by the Bill.
Major 5 freedoms for Animals under a new section under the 2022 Bill-
The bill proposes including a new section that provides five freedoms for animals.
Any animal under the care of an individual or under his charge must be given freedom from –
- Hunger, thirst or malnutrition
- Any discomfort caused by the environment
- Injury, pain and disease
- Fear and distress
- Freedom to express normal behaviour of the species.
The Bill also includes it is the responsibility of the local governments like municipality or panchayats to take care of community animals as per the provided regulations by the state government or the board.
As defined under the Bill, a community animal is an animal born in a community for which no individual or an organisation has claimed authority/ownership. This does not include wild animals as defined under the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.