Cabinet okays draft of Animal Welfare Act 2019

Published: February 11, 2019 21:02:35 | Updated: February 12, 2019 15:56:29

The government has drafted a law stipulating punishment for cruelty to animals like tethering a dog without giving it the scope to move for 24 straight hours or more.

The cabinet gave its final nod to the draft ‘Animal Welfare Act 2019’ in a regular meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in Dhaka on Monday, reports bdnews24.com.

The draft law has been based on the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1920, according to Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam.

“It will be the owners or supervisors’ duty to behave well and humanely and refrain from cruel behaviour towards animals without logical reason,” the draft law says, according to the secretary.

Actions of any person while slaughtering any animal for using its meat as food or sacrificing it following religious rituals is not deemed to be cruelty to animal under the new law.

It has declared as cruelty the tethering of a dog for a day or more without allowing it to move or exercise, Shafiul said.

The person committing such offence will have to spend six months in jail and count fines once the new law is passed, he added.

The draft law allows an animal’s unconsciousness or painless death following the process prescribed in written form by a veterinary surgeon for logical reasons.

The punishment for violating the law or abetting in the violation will be six-month jail term or Tk 10,000 fines or both.

The punishment mentioned in the 1920 law is three months in jail and Tk 1,000 fines.

Mobile courts can be conducted under the new law but a related schedule will have to be added to the Mobile Court Act.

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