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Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960:


The Centre has informed the Supreme Court about the 2017 rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and said that there was a difference between seizure and confiscation of animals, while responding to a petition.

  • The Centre’s response came after last week the court had asked it to amend a rule in the Act pertaining to confiscation of animals before an accused is convicted under the legislation.

What’s the issue?

A plea was filed by Buffalo Traders Welfare Association, challenging the validity of the rules that allow authorities to seize vehicles used in cattle transportation and send the animals to shelters. The petition pointed out that the transporters, farmers and cattle traders were being threatened since the rules were notified.

What has the Centre said?

While seizure is temporary in nature and merely takes possession of property, confiscation amounts to transfer of ownership in the property and is supposed to be carried out only after final adjudication of the rights of the parties in a given case.


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”.

Concerns expressed by traders:

  • The traders have claimed that they were being forcibly deprived of their cattle which is sent to Gaushalas.
  • These frequent lootings are also threatening the rule of law and generally emboldening groups of persons to take the law into their own hands.
  • Moreover, these incidents are acting as triggers for communal polarisation of society.

Way ahead:

If not halted effectively and immediately, will have disastrous consequences on the social fabric of the country

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.

Sources: the Hindu.