On 1st October 2023, on the eve of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, over 40 animal protection organisations participated in a rally against animal cruelty in New Delhi, the capital of India. The rally was organised by India Unites For Animal Rights (IUFAR), and animal rights groups such as People for Animals (PFA) and Perroayuda Welfare Foundation participated.
During the rally at Jantar Mantar, signatures for a petition addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his attention on animal protection issues were gathered. The petition ‘No More 50’ demands amendments to the existing laws which deal with cruelty against animals. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, any offender, despite the nature of cruelty against an animal, can currently get away with a penalty as low as Rs 10 to Rs 50 ($0.60 US).
The petition demands the following: Pass immediately the amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act with stringent punishment for animal cruelty; end live transport of animals for export; end the primitive practice of animal sacrifice in the name of religion; end the business of running dairies in the name of gaushalas; no more wild animals (Neelgai and Wild Bore) shot as vermin; no dogs anywhere in India picked up from streets in the name VIP events; systematise and spread awareness on ABC programme so that it is adopted by municipalities and panchayats all over India.
Sanjay Mohapatra, founder of House of Stray Animals, an NGO participating in the rally, told PTI, “Our aim is to spread awareness about the plight of animals in the country and demand strict action against people who torture them. Through this rally, we also wish to guide on how to manage pets and prevent dog bites which have become a tool to justify crime against animals.”