Celebrities, including John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Arjun Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Raveena Tandon, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, have signed a new petition by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India calling upon the government to strengthen animal-protection laws.

PETA India is pointing to recent cases of abuse — including an incident in which two students hurled a dog off a rooftop and were quickly released from jail on bail, as well as a 14 March incident in which an Uttarakhand Mounted Police horse named Shaktimaan was fatally injured.

“India’s weak and outdated animal-protection laws are a national embarrassment as they do very little to prevent animals from being neglected, abused, or killed. PETA India and its high-profile supporters are calling on the government to strengthen its penalties for cruelty to animals significantly and right away – before anyone else gets hurt,” Poorva Joshipura, Chief Executive Officer, PETA India, said in a statement.

PETA India has long campaigned to strengthen India’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which contains outdated penalties, such as a maximum fine of Rs 50 for convicted first offenders who abuse or even kill an animal.

PETA India’s petition calls on the government to ensure that people who abuse animals serve jail time, pay significant fines, receive psychological counselling, and are banned from interacting with animals.

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