Centre lays down policy on cattle dehorning and castration as per animal cruelty Act

Source: The post is based on the article “Centre lays down policy on cattle dehorning & castration 63 years after implementation of animal cruelty Act” published in The Hindu on 29th March 2023

What is the News?

The Central Government has notified the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animal Husbandry Practices and Procedures) Rules, 2023.

The rules laid down the procedures for dehorning cattle and castration, branding or nose-roping of any animal.

What are Castration and dehorning?

Castration is the removal of a male animal’s testicles. This can be done in a non-surgical manner in cattle, sheep, and goats with the use of an elastrator. 

– In some species, male hormones affect the taste. Those taste effects are generally negative. Castration improves meat quality.

Dehorning/disbudding is the practice of removing an animal’s horns or horn buds, depending on the age of the animal and the stage of horn growth. 

What are the existing provisions related to Dehorning and Castration?

The Dehorning and Castration procedures were earlier undefined under Sections 11 and subsection 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, which made it difficult to prevent cruelty against animals.

– Section 11 defined the acts that amount to treating animals with cruelty.

– But subsection 3 allowed exceptions for animal husbandry procedures, which involve dehorning cattle and castration, branding, and nose roping of animals in a prescribed manner.

– Section 3(c) of the law also offered exceptions in “the extermination or destruction of any animal under the authority of any law for the time being in force.

What are the key provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animal Husbandry Practices and Procedures) Rules, 2023?

All procedures like Castration and dehorning are to be carried out with the involvement of a registered veterinary practitioner, along with the mandatory use of general and local anesthetics.

The rules demand the breeding of naturally hornless cattle over dehorning and using face halters and other humane procedures for nose roping and preventing cold and hot branding on live tissues.

The rules prescribe a methodology for euthanasia for ill animals to avoid a painful death.

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