Animal cruelty or abuse of animals is an act performed by humans on animals which inflict pain and suffering. Human being an egotistical creature causes harm to animals for selfish purposes such as meat, fur, tusks, teeth and horns and they earn a lot of money from all these. Animal cruelty often involves inflicting harm or misery as an end, known as zoosadism. Animals killing was banned dated back to Ashoka period. When we speak about the reality of today, the situation is completely different even though there are many laws made by the legislature to stop the abuse of animals and the cruelty of animals, people are not prepared to adopt them and the reason behind that is the measly fine levied by the government. People takes it for granted because anyone can pay Rs.50 or Rs.100 and roam freely after killing or abusing any animal which makes it non- deterrent punishment.
Article 51A(G) of the Indian constitution makes it a fundamental duty upon every citizen of India to protect wildlife and have compassion for all living creatures likewise there are many laws in India for the protection of animals, we will deal with all of them in detail later in the essay. But the question here is how many of us follows or execute them. Although we have ample of laws of the protection of animals then why the crimes against animals still happening. You may have discover fully grown-ups stoning and hurting stray animals, shooting honest fowls and leaving totally innocuous creatures to starvation and passing, or seen organizations unlawfully testing their items on poor animals, animals being abused and hurt for entertainment in zoos and parks, men conveying an incredible number of dairy cattle in a truck, beating them and over-burdening them, and thought about whether there is a conclusion to this mercilessness system.
To order to take a wide-ranging measure, it is necessary for us to be familiar with the current animal welfare laws so that gaps can be filled in and the laws can be applied properly.
Delve Deep into the Animal Protection Rules
There are many laws in India for the protection of animals. Some of them are listed below:
The constitution of India provides several provisions for the protection of animals such as Article 51A(g), Article 48, Article 48A, In List II (State List), Seventh Schedule, In List III (Concurrent List), The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 Section 428 and 429 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 The Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001
Let’s deal with all of them separately
The constitution of India – The Indian constitution is supreme law of the land. No law is above the Constitution of India. If Any provision of any act contravenes with the constitution, then that particular provision of the will be ultra-virus or null and void.
Article 51A(G) makes it a fundamental duty upon every citizen of India to protect wildlife and have compassion for all living creatures. Every right comes with the duty so as we people of India have our fundamental rights enshrined in part III of the Indian constitution likewise, we have fundamental duties provided in part IV of the Indian constitution. India people are very particular about their fundamental rights, but they don’t bother about the fundamental duties which comes along. This is the mentality of people. Most of the people don’t care about the wildlife neither they have compassion for living creatures.
Article 48 of the constitution- organization of agriculture and animal husbandry The State shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other mulch and draught cattle.
Article 48A provides that the State also has a duty to protect, safeguard and improve the forests and wildlife of the country.
These duties impose a responsibility on state to protect, preserve, improve and safeguard animals, forest and wildlife of the country. State must play an active role regarding this.
- In List II (State List), Seventh Schedule, it is provided that the State has the power and authority to –14- Preserve, protect and improve stock and prevent animal diseases, and enforce veterinary training and practice.
- In List III (Concurrent List), it is provided that both the Centre and the State have the power and authority to:17 – Prevent cruelty to animals, 17B – Protect wild animals and birds.
Under the Eleventh Schedule (Article 243 G), the Panchayati Raj institutions have the duty and authority to deal with matters relating to: Animal husbandry, dairying and poultry, Fisheries.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 – Section 11(a) to (o) specified different forms of animal cruelty.
(A) Beating, Kicking, Over-riding, Over-driving, Over-loading, Torturing, causing unnecessary pain or suffering to any animals;
(B) Employing any animal which, by reason of its age or any disease, unfit to be so employed, and still making it work or labor or for any purpose;
(C) Willfully and unreasonably administering any injurious drug or injurious substance;
(D) Conveying or carrying, either in or upon any vehicle in such a manner as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering.
(E) Keeping or confining any animal in any cage or any receptacle, which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement;
(F) Keeping for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably heavy chain or chord;
(G) Being the owner, neglects to exercise or cause to be exercised reasonably any dog habitually chained up or kept in close confinement;
(H) Being the owner of any animal fails to provide such animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter;
(I) Being the owner, without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances, which render it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst;
(J) which he is the owner to go at large in any street while the animal is affected with a contagious or infectious disease, or without reasonable excuse permits any diseased or disabled animal, of which he is the owner, to die in any street;
(K) Offers for sale or without reasonable cause, has in his possession any animal which is suffering pain by reason of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other ill-treatment
(L) Mutilates any animal or kills any animal (including stray dogs) by using the method of strychnine injections in the heart or in any other unnecessarily cruel manner;
(M) Solely with a view to providing entertainment – Confines or causes to be confined any animals (including tying of an animal as bait in a tiger or other sanctuary) so as to make it an object of prey for any other animal; Incites and animal to fight or bait any other animal.
(N) Organizes, keeps, uses or acts in the management of any place for animal fighting or for the purpose of baiting any animal or permits or offers any place to be so used or receives money for the admission of any other person to any place kept or used for any such purposes;
(O) takes part in any shooting match or competition wherein animals are released from captivity for the purpose of such shooting.
Therefore, if an animal is killed or harmed in any of the ways specified in the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, the offender shall be liable for payment of a fine which may extend to Rs 50 and if the offender is a subsequent offense or a second offense committed within 3 years of the previous offense the offender shall receive a fine not less than Rs 25 but which may extend to Rs 100 or Rs 100 or Rs 25 or the or with the imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months or with both. If the offender happens to have a vehicle then, in case of a 2ndoffence, the vehicle is confiscated as well as the person is not permitted to keep any animal again in life.
This is the system’s lacuna or loophole, as the penalty levied in cases of animal abuse is so indulgent that no one threatens by them.
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 – The act is intended to protect wild animals and birds and there are provisions safeguarding the animals, rights.
- This forbids the sacrifice of animals, there is a strict ban on any harm to the animals by Section 39 of the Act and the penalty is specified in section 51 of the Act.
- There is also a ban on any Indian bird being housed under the Act. If anyone wants to keep a legal bird, he must strictly comply with section 11 of the 1956 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
- Police powers: Section 50 of the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act authorizes the arrest of any person without a warrant by a police officer.
- Monkeys are not shown or kept and are also protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
Section 428 and 429 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 –
- Section 428 – Mischief by killing or maiming animal of the value of ten rupees:—Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animal or animals of the value of ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend two years, or with fine, or with both.
- Section 429- Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees:—Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
Killing any animal, including stray animals, is a punishable offense under IPC Section 428 & 429 as the central government has made so many laws to curb the danger of cruelty and the government has enacted significant laws such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 & Wildlife Protection Act,1972.
The Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 – No sterilized dogs can be removed from their habitat. No sterilized dogs can be removed from their region Under the Government of India, Animal Birth Control Rules 2001.Sterilized dogs must remain in their original areas, in accordance with five different High Court Orders. The society can just contact an animal welfare agency to sterilize and vaccinate the dog if a dog is not sterilized.
And there are many more laws and rules made by the government with the intention to protect animals such as Th Anima Welfare Act, 2006 makes the owner and keepers responsible for ensuring that their animals, welfare needs are met which requires the display of normal behavior patterns and protection from discomfort, illness, suffering and disease for an appropriate environment, a suitable diet.
As per Rule 3 Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001 animals sacrifice is illegal in every part of the country & chapter 4 Food Safety and standards Regulations 2011, no animal can be slaughtered in any place other than a slaughtered house. Sick or pregnant animals shall not be slaughtered.
Problems related to Animal Rights
Cosmetic treatment on animals – We estimate that approximately 100,000-200,000 animals suffer and die just for cosmetics every year around the world. These are rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice. While dogs and monkeys are never used to test cosmetics anywhere in the world, they are used to test other types of chemicals. Although 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. But still companies do cosmetics testing on animals.
Painful life of stray dogs after the procedure of birth control – The Central Government made laws for the Animal Birth Control Regulations, 2001 through the medical procedure but the doctors did the surgery in an inappropriate or incompetent way.
Cruelty on elephant and Lions – cruelty on elephant and lions done in circus for entertaining people for gaining money
Leave animals on streets and starve them to death – once you adopted an animals you cannot leave them on street on frivolous issues and starve them to death even when you see any animals starving on streets you need to feed them it’s an moral as well as legal duty.
Relevant cases on animal’s abuse and cruelty
People for Ethical Treatment of Animals Vs. Union Of India – In this case Bombay High Court held that: A film that wishes to use an animal needs to receive a No Objection Certificate from India’s Animal Welfare Board as a condition for the Central Film Certification Board to approve it.
Ozair Hussain Vs. Union of India – In this case Supreme Court held that: Packaging of food, drugs and cosmetics to contain a red dot (non-vegetarian origin) or green dot (vegetarian origin) to indicate the origin of the product.
Animal welfare board of India Vs. A. Nagarajan and others – In this case Supreme court held in this case: Bulls cannot be performing animals. Jallikattu and other races and combat between animals are forbidden.
Shri Ajay Madhusudan Marathe Vs. New Sarvodaya CHS Ltd. –In this case Consumer forum Delhi held that as a consumer, a society cannot prohibit a resident from having pets and utilizing his/her facilities for pets.
The legislation can be made stricter and more detailed in order to protect and conserve animals of all sorts, whether they are street animals, wild animals and animals living in all types of habitat.
Regarding the punishment, the punishment given in case of animal abuse or cruelty are not up to the mark so as they deter the people. This is the reason why people don’t fear law in case of animal abuse and Cruelty. The Punishment should be increased it should be of that extent that the person who tries to cause any harm to the animals should be afraid of the law. On the other hand, the fine should be increased, Government levied measly fine who commit such act so nobody cares of the consequences. Punishment and fine should be increased. Government should amend laws and make them more sticker in terms of punishment and fine.
Everyday many animals die and here I am not talking only about the stray animals but about the animals who are domesticated. People don’t take proper care of them and because of the poor animals dies because of many reasons, to state some of them are neglect, starvation, improper medical care and the list goes on. Physical violence and abuse are the other major acts which these voiceless animals suffer very day. Not every raise their voice for these animals. Some of us may help them, give food to them but majority of the people just neglect their sufferings and walk away.
We often get depressed or emotional when we see any video wherein any person abuses or kill any animal but after few days or weeks we forget about that, how many us does anything for that poor animal who has been the victimized in that video. The answer is on one all of us are busy in our own daily routine, so nobody thinks of taking an action or filling an complain on behalf of that animal. But now the time has come when we need raise our voice against the violence and brutality done with these animals nothing is impossible, after all this is the least we can do for these animals.
There are certain act you can do for the animals like whenever you see an animal starving you can buy him food if not food at least a pack of biscuits this everyone can do, when you see an animal suffering from pain or need medical attention you can call the animal welfare organization or NGO working animals or you can personally take that animal to veteran. There are many things we can do for these animals which can make them happy. And remember one thing in this selfish word no human can care for you like this creature called animal without any selfish motive.
1 Constitution of India (Bare act) Part IV A Page no. 24.
3 List II Constitution of India (Bare act) Schedule 7 Page no. 234.
4 The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
5 Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
7 The Indian Penal code 1860 Page no.167,168.
8 The Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001
Author Details: Deepali Kir (Asian Law College, Noida)
The views are personal only, if any.