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Sidharth Malhotra appeals to PM Modi for stronger penalties for animal cruelty

The actor wrote an impassioned letter to the prime minister on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Sonal Pandya

Actor Sidharth Malhotra has written a letter to prime minister Minister asking him to look into updating the country’s animal welfare legislation. Malhotra wrote an impassioned request on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.

In the letter, he noted that our current legislation is “woefully outdated”. Malhotra pointed out that the current penalty for any cruelty to animals ranges from Rs10 to Rs50 for a first offence. Any subsequent offence is only Rs100 or three months in prison; it’s barely a slap on the wrist.  

The actor cited the recent rise of animal abuse cases reported in the media across the country where humans have poisoned dogs, burned cows with acid and beaten cats to death.

He wrote, “This does significant damage to our reputation as a nation that respects animals. Discouraging violence against animals is important for humans, too: a lack of respect for other species can translate into insensitivity and cruelty towards fellow humans. In fact, psychologists, sociologists, and law-enforcement officials abroad have extensively documented that when children hurt animals, it is often an early warning sign of future acts of violence towards humans.”

Malhotra urged the prime minster to upgrade the legislation to include jail time, significant fines, counselling and a ban on contact with animals. He feels that these changes would reflect Article 51 A(g) of the Constitution of India which asks its citizen to have compassion for living creatures.

The actor has been associated with PETA for many years and has previously spoken for animal welfare as well. He recently shared an online petition on Twitter, asking his fans and followers to help save a 6-year-old baby elephant Suman who is being held captive illegally in Jaipur.

Malhotra was last seen in Aiyaary (2018) with Manoj Bajpayee. He will next star as Kargil war hero Vikram Batra in the film Yeh Dil Mangey More directed by Vishnu Varadhan.