Draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022

A draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was released recently by the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying for public comments. It proposes to overhaul the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960.

What are the main changes proposed by the 2022 Amendment Bill?

  • It seeks to provide stringent punishments for those involved in animal cruelty.
  • Several offences under this Bill are made cognizable, which means that offenders can be arrested without a warrant.
  • The Bill proposes to include bestiality as a crime under the new category of “gruesome cruelty”. The subsection “gruesome cruelty” includes any act involving animals that can cause extreme pain and suffering and likely leave the animal in life-long disability.
  • Offences under this subsection can result in fines from Rs.50,000 to Rs.75,000 or the cost of the animal, whichever is more, or one-year imprisonment that can be extended up to 3 years or both.
  • Killing of an animal can result in a maximum punishment of five years of imprisonment. For this, a new clause Section 11(B) has been added by this bill.
  • The draft bill also proposes the inclusion of a new section providing five freedoms for animals. Any animal under an individual’s care or under his charge must be given the freedom from
  1. Thirst, hunger and malnutrition
  2. Discomfort caused by the environment
  3. Pain, injury and disease
  4. Fear and distress
  5. Freedom to express normal behavior of the species
  • The local governments like municipality or panchayats are responsible for taking care of community animals as per the regulations provided by the state government or the board.
  • The community animal is defined by this bill as any animal born in a community for which no individual or an organization has claimed ownership. This does not include wild animals as defined under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.



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