Kolkata: An online petition started by People for Animals (PFA) and Humane Society International/India (HSI/India), the country's largest animal protection organisations have garnered more than 7.5 lakh signatures making the call for an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 louder.Through the petition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being urged to raise the penalties of cruelty against animals which is currently at 50 rupees.
Gauri Maulekhi, trustee People for Animals, said, "The animal cruelty cases that get reported are just a blip on the radar, most cases are never reported. Despite being punishable criminal offences, cruelty against animals continue unabated in the country given the absence of a deterrent penalty in our law. With India being envisioned as a self – dependent nation, we must ensure that we put in place regulation and law that deter animal cruelty and help it be a more humane nation.”
PFA and HSI India started the petition on 19th January 2021, and within a fortnight garnered 7.5 lakh number of signatures. which has seen support of public representatives such as Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga, Spokesperson, BJP Delhi, Anubhav Mohanty, Actor & Member of Parliament, and of celebrities such as Pooja Bhatt, Manoj Bajpayee Tiger Shroff, Shraddha Kapoor, Mohit Chauhan and influencer Niharika NM and many more.
Alokparna Sengupta, managing director, HSI India said, “The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was enacted to replace a colonial legislation and sought to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering on animals. However, the quantum of punishment i.e., the penalties have not been reviewed even once in the six decades of the Act’s existence. The past year has seen some of the most heinous acts of animal cruelty in India -each horrific case highlighted the inability of the current law to protect animals.”
HSI/India along with PFA started the #NoMore50 campaign in 2016, a movement catalysed by the brutal beating of the police horse Shaktiman in Uttarakhand. This campaign has always been an opportunity for every citizen of this country to speak for the deliberately silenced and solicit more accountability for the public money pledged towards jurisprudential activities.