Animals are not Ours to experiment
The instances of animal cruelty is not a new concept, it is evident from ancient times when poaching and hunting were categorized as a courageous act amongst royals, and in modern time using animals for business purposes and earning money, may help economies of countries but this is not just morally wrong but legally punishable also. Illegal wildlife trade generates revenues between USD $7 and 23 billion annually; it is “the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans, and arms”. But the reality is that business with animals is not only cruelty against them, this has been overpowered by people who exploit animals for the purpose of social media posts.
When one goes through their social media accounts, there is a possibility of finding 5-6 videos related to cruelty with animals just for the sake of likes, comments, etc. Though on the basis of social media posts we cannot file a complaint against doers in the Police station but can report their accounts as spam. This will give information to companies that these types of videos are not good for society and then they can regulate them.
Laws related to the protection of animals and punishing the offender:
Article 51A (g) of the Indian constitution: says that every citizen of India has fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. Though fundamental duties are not enforceable in courts for proper governance of the country, they must be followed by every citizen, if they want their fundamental rights with them. Supreme Court in the case of RLEK v. State of U.P., (1985 AIR 652) held that the preservation of the environment and keeping the ecological balance unaffected is a task which is not only governmental but also every citizen must undertake. Thus cruelty against animals is a violation of citizen’s fundamental duty.
This is a subject of the concurrent list and thus both Centre and state have the power and authority to make laws in this regard.
Indian Penal Code: section 428 and 429 of IPC makes it illegal to maim or cause injury to any animal. It is also illegal for vehicles to purposefully injure dogs, cats, and cows on the streets. The offenders can be punished with rigorous imprisonment up to 2 years and fine up to 2 thousand Rest.
The Wildlife Protection, 1972: the Act provides for punishment to those who test, molest, injure, feed or cause disturbance to any animal by noise or importation of animal products, etc. A few days back on when a pregnant elephant died due to having pineapple filed with firecrackers in it, the forest Department registered FIR under section 9 (prohibition of hunting any wild animal specified in schedules I, II, III and IV) and section 51 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The offense is punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years or fine of Rest. 25000, or both, in Schedule I and for offenses under schedule II, III it is punishable with imprisonment not less than 3 years but up to 7 years and fine not less than 10 thousand.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA): where the wildlife Act, protects only wildlife animals, the PCA protects all living creatures except human beings from unnecessary pain or sufferings. PCA contains only archaic penalties of Rs. 50. In March 2018, PETA India worked with Junagadh police to file FIR against three men who allegedly killed a stray dog while he was sleeping in a temple. Charges as per section 429 IPC and section 11(1) (a) of PCA were framed in consonance with section 34 IPC to everyone liability to the same extent.
The Performing Animals rules, 1973 deals with laws relating to animals used for the purpose of entertainment. Punishment ranges with a fine of up to Rs. 500 or imprisonment for up to 3 months or both.
Other laws and rules are- Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules, 2017, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock markets) rules, 2017, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and Maintenance of case property animals) Rules, 2027 and Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rule, 2001.
The redressal is not only FIR but a legal notice to abusers or by reporting to an NGO working for animal Rights. But these redressal are not effective till people have no sympathies for animals and they themselves raise their voice against inhumane treatments of animals.
1) Alokparna Sengupta, Animal Welfare: where does India Stand? INTER PRESS SERVICES NEWS, http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/09/animal-welfare-india-stand/
2) Following PETA complaint, Junagadh Police Register FIR against dog Killers, PETA INDIA, https://www.petaindia.com/blog/following-peta-complaint-junagadh-police-register-fir-against-dog-killers/
3) Wardah Beg, Animal protection Laws in India, IPLEADERS, https://blog.ipleaders.in/animal-protection-laws-in-india/
4) Kerala: FIR lodged in pregnant wild elephant’s killing, who was fed with firecrackers in pineapple, THE STATESMAN, https://www.thestatesman.com/india/kerala-fir-lodged-in-pregnant-wild-elephants-killing-who-was-fed-with-firecracker-in-pineapple-1502895813.html
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Swati Tolambia is currently studying law from the school of Law, Mody University of Science and Technology, Laxmangarh, Sikar (Raj.). As she writes this, she is interning with us.
You can contact them: https://in.linkedin.com/in/swati-tolambia-bb22401aa
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