Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 2017

The Supreme Court has asked the centre to change the provision in the 2017 rule which was notified so as to allow the confiscation of the animals of traders and transporters during the pendency of trials in cases. This rule was notified under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The Apex court has now asked the centre to change the provision stating that this rule is contrary to the latter’s provisions that had allowed such confiscation only in case of conviction.

Background

This ruling by the supreme court came while hearing a plea filed by the Buffalo Traders Welfare Association. The plea has challenged the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017.

What is the issue?

The 2017 rules allow a magistrate to take the custody of the cattle in case the owner is facing any trial under the 1960 Act. It further allows to handover the cattle to infirmaries or animal shelter homes. While, Section 29 of the 1960 Act says that the person being tried for an offence under the Act can be deprived from taking ownership of the animal only upon conviction. This contradiction is being argued in the supreme court.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

This act was authored by a dancer and animal lover named Rukmini Devi Arundal. The act was enacted in the year 1960 by the Parliament of India. This act seeks to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals. The act also amended the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals. The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in accordance with the act.

Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)

The AWBI has been headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana. It is a statutory advisory body. It advises the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

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