What makes this new law especially hopeful is the unanimity through which it was passed in parliament
As a society that is slowly but steadily starting to understand what it means to be civil, it is unfortunate that instances of animal cruelty get next to no traction within the public sphere.
What we need are laws that seeks to take harsher punitive actions on violators. And it is heartening to know that that is exactly what we will be getting.
While laws criminalizing animal cruelty have existed in our jurisprudence for a long time, such laws have resulted in next to no action being taken to bring perpetrators to book or punish them in any way that would discourage such behaviour.
Parliament recently passed the Animal Welfare Bill 2019, with significantly stricter penalties for cruelty to animals compared to the previous Cruelty to Animal Act of 1920, a relic from our colonial past.
The new law aims to stop casual cruelty towards stray animals -- acts as heinous as forcibly euthanizing them to keeping an animal captive for a certain period of time.
Anyone found violating any provisions of the new law will be jailed for six months or fined Tk10,000, or both; and any sort of bodily harm imparted on an animal will be met with a maximum of two years’ imprisonment or a Tk50,000 fine, or both.
While a new law against animal cruelty was long overdue, what makes this new law especially hopeful is the unanimity through which it was passed in parliament.
A major reason behind the scourge of animal cruelty in our society is because of the attitude the general public hold against them being sub-human -- for our politicians to be in unison against cruelty towards animals sends a positive message.
When it comes to the economy and infrastructure, we have progressed far as a nation. But true progress will be unattainable until we understand that equality is meant for every living being, regardless of how many legs they walk on.
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