Centre asked to enact Animal Welfare Bill
In the wake of recent incidents of cruelty towards animals, including the assault on police horse Shaktiman, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has asked the Centre to enact the draft Animal Welfare Bill, 2014, which deals with such crimes.
Major General (retd) RM Kharb, Chairman of AWBI, a statutory advisory body under the Environment Ministry, has written to minister Prakash Javadekar, saying it is “extremely distressing” that the Bill still remains in “cold storage”.
“A strong animal protection law is the need of the hour, not just in view of the rise in animal abuse and crimes against animals, but also because there is a very high level of positive interest among many people in ensuring that animals are protected. The draft Animal Welfare Bill, 2014, is reflective of the Supreme Court’s vision and... also provides for substantially higher penalties than the existing provisions. I urge the ministry to consider the Bill and work towards its enactment,” Kharb said in the letter.
He said he had earlier written to the ministry in March last year, seeking the enactment of the Bill, which provides for substantially higher penalties than the “distressing” low amounts of Rs 50 or Rs 100 currently prescribed even for the most heinous and barbaric crimes against animals.