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Bizarre it may sound ! But it is true. Cruelty to animals in India is at top in West Bengal where Royal Bengal Tigers once roared to force menfolk take escape routes to save lives; the state has 17,000 such cases reported during the year 2006-07.
The state also tops in cruelty to animals during last three years from 2004-05 to 2006-07, with 40,000 animals reported for facing cruelty during this three years.
Delhi stands second followed by Uttar Pradesh in cruelty against animals. During last three years, 1,389, 1,572 and 1,826 cases were reported, respectively, in Delhi, while less than 4,000 cases were reported from Uttar Pradesh.
According to the Ministry of Urban Development, 1,541 cases were reported in 2004-05, 1,296 cases in 2005-06 and 1127 cases were reported during 2006-07 in Uttar Pradesh.
The Ministry further said that during the year 2006-07, 255 cases of animal cruelty were reported in Haryana, 79 in Kerala, 71 in Andhra Pradesh and 65 in Chhattisgarh.
The number of persons convicted in this regard were highest in Uttar Pradesh followed by Delhi and West Bengal, respectively.
According to the Ministry, 4,265 persons were convicted during 2004-05, 3,338 were convicted during 2005-06 and 3,037 were convicted during 2006-07, whereas 1,389, 1,570 and 1,838 persons were convicted in Delhi during same respective period.
In order to check such incidents, the central government has enacted the Preventions of cruelty to animals (PCA) Act, 1960 to prevent infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals.
Prevention of cruelty falls in the Concurrent List of the Constitution and hence the appropriate law enforcement machinery are the state government and local authorities, the Ministry informed.
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests addresses all the state governments to enforce the provisions regarding cruelties to animals and to book the offenders suitably.