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Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 20, Dec 2021
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The Supreme Court has allowed Maharashtra to hold bullock cart races in the state till the pendency of the matter before the constitutional Bench of the apex court. It is a 400-year-old tradition.

What’s the issue?

  • Bullock cart races were banned in Maharashtra after the Supreme Court declared that the race as violative of the provisions of the central act in 2014.
  • After the Tamil Nadu government enacted a law to regulate jallikattu (taming of the bull), there was a demand to revive bullock races in Maharashtra.
  • In April 2017, the Maharashtra assembly had passed a legislation for resumption of bullock cart races across the state.
  • In August 2017, the Bombay High Court passed an interim order restraining the Maharashtra government from giving permission for bullock cart races anywhere in the state.
  • The state then approached the Supreme Court.

Demands by Maharashtra:

The Maharashtra government, on Wednesday, had told the SC that the ban on bullock cart races in the state should be lifted as the same is being conducted in the states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

What next?

The SC, while allowing the resumption of bullock cart races, has observed that the validity of the amended provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the rules framed by Maharashtra, which provided for bullock cart race in the state, would operate during the pendency of the petitions as the entire matter has been referred to a constitution Bench.

About the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960:

  • Seeks to “prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals”.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act.
  • This Act provides for punishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals. The Act defines animals and different forms of animals.
  • It provides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of Case Property Animals) Rules, 2017:

  • Framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
  • The Rules allow a Magistrate to forfeit the cattle of an owner facing trial under the Act.
  • The animals are then sent to infirmaries, animal shelters, etc.
  • The authorities can further give such animals for “adoption”.