Pune: While there have been repeated incidents of dogs dying due to poisoning in the city and other incidents of canine torture, experts have called for strict laws to solve the ongoing man-canine conflict. Also, experts have highlighted the need for change in people’s opinion towards canines, which will help in reducing the conflict.
Currently, the police officials rely on section 11 of Prevention Of Cruelty to Animals Act which talks about cruelty to animals as a criminal offence and sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) which talks about punishment for committing mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animal. Section 429 of the IPC states punishment for such crimes as the imprisonment of either description for a term, which may extend up to five years or with a fine or both.
However, Amit Shah, animal rights activist said that while some offences related to animal rights are cognisable offence, many offences are non-cognisable and the accused involved get bail easily.
“We need to increase the gravity of punishments in such criminal incidents and also change many non-cognisable offences to cognisable ones,” added Shah.
City-based Advocate Chetan Bhutada said there is a need to take such cases seriously. “With rising number of incidents of such conflict we need to be sensitive towards such incidents. The lawyer and police are not experts to handle cases related to animal rights and so we need a high-level committee to handle such cases. The committee will give their expert reviews on such cases which will increase the gravity of such incidents and more awareness among people,” added Bhutada.
Commenting on the reason behind torture of dogs by people, Shah said parents should teach their young ones positive things about dogs. “I have observed many people keeping their children away from dogs in a fear that the canine would attack them. Cases of canine attacks are few and we should not generalise such incidents. While dogs are also to be trained there is a need for training humans too,” added Shah.
What amounts to cruelty to dogs? Beating, confining, kicking, torturing, causing unnecessary pain or suffering to dogs and other such criminal incidents.