This article on ‘Voice for the Voiceless: Indian Animal Law’ is written by Parvati Ranawat. A law student of University College of Law (UCL), Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur. This article on the sensitive issue of animal cruelty is worth reading. Read Now.
Animals have a strong impact on everyday human life. They serve as compatriots, sources of entertainment, fabrics, nourishment; and also a boost to people across the world. Alike humans, they are living beings. Their requirements and interests vary from those of humans. There is the legal and economic predicament faced by humans in order to cater to their basic needs. These issues gave rise to various social movements, which is, of course, protested by some humans.
The dilemma faced is not only to cater to the basic requirements but also to protect the animals. There are horrors endured by animals by society’s cold and oblivious hand.
India is home to various species of animals. It is also one of the world’s leading producers of animal products. On one hand, it has several religious traditions advocating non-violence and compassion towards animals; and has passed a number of animal welfare reforms since 1960 and on the other hand, animals are subject to cruelty.
It took a pandemic for humans to realize the feeling of staying locked in one place for months. It is high time to reflect on what caged animals in zoos and circuses go through having lived most of their lives.
CASES OF CRUELTY TOWARDS ANIMALS IN INDIA
A couple of recent cases of cruelty towards animals are that of the killing of a pregnant elephant from Kerala, a jackal from Tamil Nadu; and a pregnant cow from Himachal Pradesh where the poor animals were fed explosives covered with some edibles.
There were disheartening cases in 2019 too where an antelope was pushed in a pit and buried alive; a tigress in Uttar Pradesh was beaten brutally with sticks; and a serial dog killer allegedly beat, stabbed and killed three dogs and a puppy in New Delhi.
Humans are losing humanity, in-fact humans are the real demons.
Following are the glimpses of some of the most horrific cases:
- A pregnant goat was gangraped by eight men in Haryana on 29 July 2018.
- A female street dog was raped by a man inside his house in Kolkata on 17 July 2018.
- 100 stray dogs were culled and dumped in forest area in Hyderabad on 8 May 2018.
- A man had unnatural sex with three cows in Vadodara in 17 July 2018.
- A stray dog fractured its skull after being beaten with an iron rod in Mumbai on 4 September 2017.
- On 26 July 2018 a cow was run over by a police vehicle in Chhattisgarh.
- 21 beagles were confined in cages for scientific experiments in Pune.
- A street dog was left to die when workers poured hot tar on it while it was sleeping.
The aforementioned are the cases which can give goosebumps to anyone.
Using animals for sport and entertainment:
There are various sports and activities such as dog fighting, cockfighting, rodeos, bullfights, marine mammals in aquariums; and aquatic shows, hunting for sport and pleasure, dog racing, animals in circuses; and zoos where they are subject to a life of confinement and deprivation; a lifetime in cages, cruel training practices, domination, and fear. No animal deserves to be abused or killed for the entertainment of humans.
Animals used for experiments and cosmetics:
Millions of animals undergo cosmetic tests and curiosity-driven medical experiments. They are given cruel chemical, drug, food, and are experimented and dissected. Animal tests that are performed include feeding dogs pesticides forcefully; dripping corrosive chemicals into the rabbit’s sensitive eyes; and forcing mice and rats to inhale toxic fumes. Poor animals are kept inside a barren cage in laboratories. They languish in pain and suffer from loneliness and frustration. They long to be free from terrifying and painful procedures. There are many other alternatives. Instead of these painful procedures, nonanimal test methods should be adopted.
Using skin and other parts of animals to make fancy garments:
Speaking of leather, silk, fur, wool, feathers, these fabrics are made by trapping, mutilating, and killing animals under horrific conditions. It is done so that we, humans, can wear fashionable clothes and accessories. Here, let us remember and follow leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekanand who promoted the idea of simple living. Killing animals for our luxury is a heinous sin. It is time to switch to alternative; cruelty-free options that exist and are comfortable, less expensive, durable, and beautiful.
Although cattle slaughter is illegal yet there are some Indian states leading to the massive leather industry. India is the second-largest exporter of leather and its products. Adoption of man-made options can lead to a little contribution in protecting the innocent animals.
Hunting and trapping exotic and wild animals like raccoons, mink, lynx, and the fox is the first step in fur- making. There is a harsh and painful procedure that animals have to go through in order to produce fur. They suffer physiological trauma and dehydration. With the growth of modern technology fur is no longer needed for warmth or attraction; for there exist substitutes. And also it looks beautiful on the original “wearer”.
Animals used for food:
A massive number of animals are killed for food every year. There are factory farms where animals are tightly packed which causes many to die; because of infection or disease before being sent to the slaughterhouse. Animals that are used for food endure constant fear and endless torment. The conditions of the places where they are kept are horrendous. The babies have to suffer the pain of getting torn away from their mother’s side; and are shipped off for human consumption. Imagine, if this is done with a human baby what type of pain will his close ones endure? Throats of animals are slit when they are conscious.
Many remain alert when they are plunged into hot water for skin and hair removal. There is this one best alternative of turning into a vegan. All nutrients and dietary needs are fulfilled by a vegan diet. There are many great vegan options by which eating green has become more delicious. Let us change the world; and make it a beautiful place for all living creatures by simply changing what’s on our plate.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
To prevent and solve these issues and protect animals from cruelty there is an Indian Animal Law. The 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is the legal basis of animal protection in India. Provision 11 of this Act states that ‘it is illegal for any person to treat any animal so as to subject; it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes, or being the owner permits, any animal to be so treated’; and that such mistreatment is punishable with fines or imprisonment.
It has been defined under provision 2 that ‘animal’ means any living creature other than a human being.
There is also an Animal Welfare Board in India to promote animal welfare, protect animals from unnecessary pain and suffering.
Following are some OFFENSES AND PENALTIES
- Treating animals cruelly is punishable with a fine of Rs. 10 which may extend to Rs. 50.
- On subsequent conviction within three years of the previous offense; it is punishable with a fine of Rs. 25 which may extend to Rs. 100; or imprisonment of 3 months or both.
- A performing operation like Phooka or any other operation to improve lactation; which is injurious to the health of animals is punishable with fines up to Rs. 1000; or imprisonment up to 2 years or both.
- Contravention of any order of committee or breach of law imposed by the committee is punishable with a fine up to Rs. 200.
Rights of animals that humans should know:
- The Delhi High Court states that there are no laws that prohibit people from feeding stray animals.
- It is a criminal offense to feed poisonous food to stray animals.
- It is illegal to under section 428 and 429 of IPC and cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 to maim or cause any injury to any animal.
- Article 51A(g) states that it is the fundamental duty of Indian citizens to have compassion for all living creatures.
- It is a punishable offense to convey or carry any animal in or upon any vehicle in a manner; that causes pain, discomfort, and suffering under Section 11(1)(d); and also under Transport of Animals Rules,2001, and Motor Vehicles Act of 1978.
- Rule 3 of Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001 says that in every part of the country animal sacrifice is illegal
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
- All the animals including chickens are to be slaughtered on in slaughterhouse. Sick and pregnant animals shall not be slaughtered. This is stated in Rule3 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
- If an animal is abandoned for any reason then the person doing so could be imprisoned for 3 months. It is stated in section 11 (1)(i) and (j) of PCA ACT,1960.
- It is illegal to relocate stray dogs that have been spayed.
- It is a cognizable offense to incite or organize animal fights. Section 11(1)(m) and (n).
Drugs & Cosmetics Rules
- Cosmetics tested on animals and the import of cosmetics tested on animals is banned. Rules 148-C and 135-B of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
Wildlife Protection Act
- It is a punishable offense to tease, feed, and disturb zoo animals. It could be fined up to Rs. 25000 or imprisonment up to 3 years; or both under Section 38J, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- Capturing, trapping, poisoning, or baiting of any wild animal or even attempting to do so is punishable by law; with a fine of up to Rs. 25000 or 7 years imprisonment; or both under section 9 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Just as introductions rarely represent true beginnings; neither do conclusions represent the end of the story. Rather than providing closure, conclusions are often, looked at in another way, simply introductions to another story. Such is the case here.
The question to ponder upon is that; are these rules strict enough to stop people from doing the heinous crime they do; by enduring pain to the voiceless animals? It is to be thought-about; because had the execution be harsh the crimes as mentioned above in the article would not happen.
But we can contribute in many ways. Each of us can help prevent animal suffering and deaths by buying cruelty-free products, donating only to charities; that don’t experiment on animals, requesting alternatives to animal dissection; demanding the immediate implementation of humane; effective non-animal tests by government agencies and corporations; and calling on our alma maters to stop experimenting on animals.
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