Be cruel to your pet or any other animal at your own peril. For, an offender could end up paying up Rs 1 crore as fine or be jailed up to five years. The environment and forests ministry has proposed this hefty fine in this animal welfare bill 2011. For institutions or companies that show cruelty towards animals the penalty could be Rs 25 crore. The proposed bill empowers the centre to fix lines and penalties based on the severity of offence. According to the proposal, the bill will aim to regulate welfare of pets and animals used in performances and for scientific experiments. It would be construed as an offence if you don’t take reasonable steps to ensure that pet gets a suitable environment and diet, protection from pain, suffering and diseases.
Abandoning a pet is among the list of offences that will lead to the wrongdoer paying a hefty fine, according to the proposal by the environment and forests ministry. Keeping animals chained for “unreasonable time”, or keeping it caged in a space that doesnot “permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement” would call for invoking the penal clause. “If any person beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or permits such cruelty he or she would be liable for penalty under the act when and if passed by the parliament,” says the provisions in the proposed bill.
Since humans have no tails to wag, they need to look at their best friend for signs they feel happy, scientists say. Researchers at Azabu University in Japan found that dogs have become so attuned to living with humans that they even distinguish a smile, even on the faces of some strangers. Dogs, they said, have an innate ability to recognise each other’s' expressions, but over time they also learned to interpret faces of a completely different species — humans.
For the study, the team trained nine pet dogs using photos of their owners, who were smiling in some of the photos and looking neutral in the others. The dogs were trained to touch their nose to photos of their owner's smiling face. These dogs were then shown photo pairs of smiling and blank-expression faces of unfamiliar people as well as of their owners. When shown photo pairs of either their owner or a stranger who was the same gender as their owner, the dogs selected the smiling faces most of the time, it was found.