Provide space to set up offices for prevention of animal cruelty: HC to StateUpdated: Feb 11, 2020 18:07 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Monday directed the state government to provide land to authorised societies for office space for prevention of cruelty to animals and for setting up animal infirmaries and animal shelters in all districts across Maharashtra.
The division bench of justice SC Dharmadhikari and justice RI Chagla said the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Establishment and Regulation of Societies for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Rules, 2001 have empowered these societies or persons authorised by them to take appropriate action to stop cruelty to animals, examine licenses, take injured animals in their custody among other things. The societies or the authorised persons can also stop vehicles or enter into any premises to conduct search and may seize the animal, if they believe it was subjected to cruelty.
“Now such a society would definitely require a permanent office,” said the bench. “If Rule 3 and Rule 4 are perused carefully, it is evident that these societies have a prominent role to play (in implementing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960),” the bench added.
The bench, therefore, directed all district collectors to take assistance of officers of the agriculture, animal husbandry and dairy development departments to locate premises in each district suitable for allotment to these societies. The bench said the premises should ideally be located within the premises of local agricultural offices or the office of the dairy development commissioner.
The order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Navi Mumbai resident Ajay Marathe who sought proper implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. In the PIL, he had pointed out the importance of these societies for proper implementation of the provisions of the law.
According to 2001 rules, it is mandatory to set up a society in every district to ensure compliance with provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and to set up animal infirmaries and animal shelters for treating ill or injured animals.
The rules require that every animal infirmary and shelter have one full-time veterinary doctor and other staff for its effective running and maintenance.
During the course of the hearing, assistant government pleader informed the court that societies for prevention of cruelty to animals have been established in 22 districts in Maharashtra. The petitioner had, however, pointed out that no manpower and infrastructure was provided to these societies.