India to revise fines for animal cruelty after nearly 60 years with penalties of up to ₹6,000: Report

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  • The Indian government is reportedly considering a huge increase in penalties for animal abuse but mainly as an inflation adjusting measure
  • From a paltry sum of ₹50, the fines are set to increase up to ₹6,000
  • India’s current penalties are a legacy of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960.

It appears that after decades of animal welfare activism and recent directives from the Supreme Court, the Indian government is looking at revising its fines for animal cruelty.

The government is evaluating a proposal to raise its existing fines from a paltry sum of ₹50 to ₹6,000, the The Print reported citing sources. The move is aimed at correcting the fines to mainly adjust for inflation, said the report.

The existing fines have not been changed since 1960 when India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA) was passed. Even today, under the laws, fines have ranged from ₹10 to no more than ₹50 for violated the law by mistreating the animals.

Animal activists and citizens have long criticised the penalties as it wasn’t a big enough deterrent and many have termed it as a mockery.

Too little, Too late?

While the government is moving to correct the unjust penalties, it has reportedly ignored several Supreme Court directives to impose ‘adequate penalties and punishment’ to curtail animal cruelty.

Animal welfare activists, meanwhile, have also been pushing for stringent laws. In 2016, several Indian politicians and celebrities including Shashi Tharoor, Poonam Mahajan, Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, Varun Gandhi and Meenakshi Lekhi introduced a campaign ‘No more 50’ that emphasised the penalty was far from enough.

Earlier this year, India’s Supreme Court overturned a ban on a traditional bull-taming sport in South India following protests. The ban had put in place in 2014 after a campaign from animal welfare groups.

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