Free Press Journal

‘Fine paltry, animal laws need to be amended’


Mumbai : A fine of Rs 50 or Rs 100 is hardly a deterrent against animal cruelty. There needs to be amendments in animal laws,” said a speaker at a workshop conducted as part of the three-day India for Animals conference flagged-off in the city on Friday.

The fourth edition of the conference, organised by Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) this year, is seeing over 300 animal rights activists and organisations converge under one roof raising animal rights issues and discussing solutions.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act has not seen amendment since 1960. “In 1960, Rs. 100 would have made a difference, but what will it do in this day and age?” asked Vinod Kumar, Assistant Secretary of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), addressing the audience.

“The Draft Animal Welfare Bill proposed in 2010 has more stringent punishments but is yet to see the light of day,” he said.

Ahmed of Sikkim-based NGO Sikkim Anti-Rabies and Animal Health (SARAH) programme called for a humane dog catching training programme. Speaking about the discrimination that dog-catchers face, he said they are treated akin to ‘untouchables’.

“Firstly, we need to be humane to dog-catchers themselves. They are looked down upon as kutte-pakadnewalle (those who catch-dogs),” he said; adding that without trained dog handlers, the government’s animal birth control programme cannot attain success.

Ahmed conducts a six-day humane dog-catchers training programme which trains dog-catchers to use methods such as offering treats to dogs instead of using brutal methods. “Dog-catchers did not believe they could catch a dog using a biscuit,” said Ahmed.