Activists say rules against animal cruelty lack teeth | Delhi News

Activists say rules against animal cruelty lack teeth | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: Several activists came together at Jantar Mantar on Sunday to hold a rally, Jeene Bhi Do Yaaro, in a continuation to their No More 50 campaign that demands stricter rules against cruelty to animals.

Under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, any offender, despite the nature of cruelty against an animal, can currently get away with a penalty as low as Rs 10 to Rs 50. At the rally, the agitators collected signatures of people supporting the cause. However, the event saw only a few activists and animal lovers, with some participants pointing to the lack of awareness among people towards animal rights. They also spoke about the “lack of empathy and intent to recognise the perils of this cruelty”. Among the supporters were many artistes, including musician and social activist Rahul Ram from India Ocean, who sang ‘we shall overcome’ for the crowd.

The protesters also raised the issue of lifting and relocating of dogs during the G20 Summit. “Whether it is goats exported to the Middle East or camels and cows smuggled into Bangladesh, our animals are being exploited and murdered. The fine for crimes against animals is laughable,” stated a joint statement from the participating organisations.

Holding placards with various slogans, the activists also promoted vegetarianism. “It is not as if there is no alternative food available. In the Northeast, we often see open culling of animals…we also see children using catapults to kill birds. It is time for a wake-up call. There should be stricter norms,” said Neeta Singh, a freelance documentary filmmaker from Manipur.

“Even for the most heinous acts of cruelty, offenders get quick bail,” said Sanjay Mahapatra, founder House of Stray Animals.

Gaurav Dar, volunteer at People for Animal (PFA), said, “The whole narrative of declaring dogs a menace is the failure of agencies to manage them. If you see this right, treat them right, then you will start feeling safe around them”.

According to the experts, society at large is failing to recognise the deeper consequences of turning a blind eye to cruelty against animals. “We have been recommending amendments for over two decades. We want stricter punishment for this cruelty. Society must understand that cruelty towards animals is a reflection of the mentality of such people. Videos circulating of young people setting pups on fire is really sad,” said Geeta Seshamani from Friendicoes.

The activists said there was a provision for jail term only if one could prove the cost of the animal was more than Rs 10. “If the animal’s value could be proven through bills of vaccination, then an offender could face a jail term up to 5 years,” said Kaveri Rana, who runs Smart Century, an animal rehabilitation centre in Greater Noida.

Activists say rules against animal cruelty lack teeth | Delhi News

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