Thursday, 1 December 2011

Steps to bring new bill to strengthen Animal protection Act

Chennai, Dec 1 (PTI) Efforts are on to bring a new bill to strengthen the existing Animal Protection Act and make it more stringent and deterrent. "A draft bill to this effect is under consideration" of the government, Chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India Maj Gen R M Kharb told reporters here today. 

Lauding the Tamil Nadu government's landmark regulation banning the use of bulls in 'Jallikattu' (taming the bull) in the state, he hoped that this would curb the primitive and violent game that was harming humans as well as the animals. 

Expressing concern over the merciless killing of stray dogs in the name of eradicating rabies, Kharb said NGOs like the Blue Cross were striving to save these animals by taking up sterilization drive, which has yielded positive results in places like Chennai, Jaipur and Kalimpong. This sterilization drive needed to be expanded to other cities as well, he said. 

Noting that dairy companies in countries like Australia and New Zealand were trying to replace cows which gave 'A1' variety of milk with breeds that gave the healthier 'A2' variety, he expressed concern that these A1 variety cows were sought to be exported to developing countries such as India. Realizing the importance of conserving indigenous breeds of cattle, the Board has taken up local breed improvement programmes for the Goshalas in several states, he said adding the Board was also promoting organic farming and biogas production through these Goshalas. 

In order to sensitize children on issues related to animal welfare and animal rights, the Board has urged the Ministry of Human Resources Development to include animal welfare as a subject in the school curriculum. S Chinny Krishna, Vice-chairman of the AWBI, said a training programme for dog-catchers was underway to train them to handle the stray dogs in a humane way. He recalled the efforts of the Board to prevent camel slaughter during certain religious occasions and said police were directed to register FIRs in such cases relating to cruelty towards animals.

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