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Otara Foundation appeals to govt. to enact new Animal Welfare Bill

2 October 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Otara Foundation is to press the government to enact the new Animal Welfare Bill by mobilising mass public support for the legislation via a 100,000 on-line signature campaign launched to mark World Animal Day, celebrated globally on 4th October.
The new Animal Welfare Bill was intended to replace Sri Lanka’s antiquated Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1906, but has been pending enactment since 2006.
Now, concerned citizens can support the Foundation’s appeal that the draft legislation be reviewed and enacted by the new government, by placing their signatures online by visiting www.otarafoundation.com  A link to the online appeal can also be accessed by visiting the Facebook page and Twitter account of Otara Gunewardene: www.facebook.com/otaradel and www.twitter.com/otaradel
The appeal, addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe urges the two leaders to evaluate and pass the new or amended Animal Welfare Bill in Parliament so that Sri Lanka as a nation would have the necessary legislation in place to stop the atrocities that animals go through on a daily basis.

 ‘Today, our animals -- stray, captive, domesticated or wild -- face many difficulties at the hands of humans. 
The new Animal Welfare Bill was intended to replace Sri Lanka’s antiquated Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1906, but has been pending enactment since 2006.

Now, concerned citizens can support the Foundation’s appeal that the draft legislation be reviewed and enacted by the new government, by placing their signatures online by visiting www.otarafoundation.com  A link to the online appeal can also be accessed by visiting the Facebook page and Twitter account of Otara Gunewardene: www.facebook.com/otaradel and www.twitter.com/otaradel
The appeal, addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe urges the two leaders to evaluate and pass the new or amended Animal Welfare Bill in Parliament so that Sri Lanka as a nation would have the necessary legislation in place to stop the atrocities that animals go through on a daily basis.

 ‘Today, our animals -- stray, captive, domesticated or wild -- face many difficulties at the hands of humans. 
They are beaten, abused, stoned, shot at, trapped and killed on a daily basis and the need for proper legislation by way of an amended Animal Welfare Bill has never been stronger than it is right now,’ commented Otara Gunewardene. 
‘Sri Lanka is considered a compassionate nation, and there is no better way to show the world our commitment to animals than by ensuring this Bill is implemented. By doing this, we could be the generation that made a change in the lives of our animals for the sake of the next generation.’
The online appeal also provides visitors with a link to a Sinhala translation as well as links to the draft Animal Welfare Bill and a Fact Sheet on its history. 
The new draft Animal Welfare Bill was submitted to the then President in 2006. In 2010, the Ven. Athureliya Ratana Thero, M.P. presented the Bill as a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament, but with the dissolution of Parliament that year, the Bill lapsed. Several attempts were made subsequently to bring the bill to the cabinet’s attention to no avail.

 It was only in March 2015 that the Bill was submitted to Cabinet by the then Minister of Social Services, Welfare and Livestock Development P. Harrison, under President Maithripala Sirisena’s ‘100 Day’ Programme. It has thereafter become the subject of contention. 
The Otara Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst of sustainable change and transformation in Sri Lanka as well as other parts of the world, to combat climate change and extinction of animal and plant species through conservation, awareness, good governance and policy change.

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