Jan 11, Colombo: Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage has stated that the Cabinet of Ministers has approved a bill to impose a fine of Rs. 125,000 and a minimum of three years imprisonment for animal cruelty and animal abuse.
Minister Aluthgamage said cruel torture of any animal in farms, houses, in the jungle or in the wild will be prevented under this animal welfare program.
Mr. Aluthgamage said that the Animal Cruelty Ordinance passed in 1907 was currently in force for the welfare of animals in the country and that the maximum fine that could be imposed for animal cruelty under that Act was Rs. 100. Therefore, steps have been taken to amend the Act, he said.
Approval to complete the drafting of the Animal Welfare Bill immediately has been granted by the Cabinet Meeting held at 19th October, 2020.
Accordingly, the clearance of the Attorney General has been received for the said bill that drafted by the Legal Draftsman, a statement on cabinet decisions said.
At the cabinet meeting held Monday, the Cabinet of Ministers gave their consent for the proposal submitted by the Minister of Agriculture to publish the bill in the government gazette and subsequently submit to the Parliament for approval.
The Minister also said that a separate unit will be established under a veterinary officer to operate with the new Animal Welfare Act.