Cruelty and Inhumanity towards Animals in India
As it has been rightly said by Abraham Lincoln, “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” In India though, many do not feel the same way. Cases of cruelty and inhumanity towards animals are on the rise and what’s being done to stop it? There are numerous laws in India that were established to safeguard animals and stop cruelty towards them but very few are aware of what they are and how they work.
In India, it is a common sight to see crudely castrated bulls pulling carts full of huge loads and being whipped repeatedly if it stops on the way. People pelting stones at dogs and cats out of fun and how to forget, all the ‘taming’ contests, fights and cart races where animals like bulls, cows and hens are treated as if they are just playful objects. In this world of modernization and development people are slowly losing their ethos and morals not only towards each other but towards these innocent animals as well.
To put a stop to animal cruelty, the Central government has passed several laws, the most commendable being the “The Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, 1960”.
Apart from that, there is the “Wildlife Protection Act, 1972” as well which was established for the protection of animal species and plants.
The Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, 1960
The following has been defined as the forms of cruelty towards animals under the Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, 1960.
Sect11(1)(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 labour 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) Willfully permits any animal, of 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 any 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.
Cruel Treatment of Animals is a Punishable Offense
When an animal is tortured or inflicted cruelty in any of the ways defined under Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, 1960 then, the offender is liable to pay fine which can extend to Rs 50 and if it happens to be a subsequent offence or second offence committed within 3 years of the earlier offence then, the person will get a fine of not less than Rs 25 but which can extend to Rs 100 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.
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
This demonstration is implied for the security of wild creatures and fowls, and there are arrangements that defend the interests of the creatures.
· It restricts the sacrifice of animals, by Section 39 of the Wildlife Protection Act there is a strict disallowance on any damage to the creatures and the punishment is mentioned in segment 51 of the act.
· There is likewise a prohibition on keeping any bird of India under the act. In the event that anyone wishes to keep a permissible feathered creature he needs to consent entirely with Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1956.
· Police powers: Section 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 approves a cop to capture any individual without a warrant.
· Monkeys can't be shown or possessed, and are ensured under the Wildlife Protection Act too.
Real Problems Persist
There are different issues related to cruelty towards animals in India. They are:
Cosmetic Testing: Now and afterward, a huge number of creatures are harmed and slaughtered in brutal and cold blooded tests that endeavor to test the hazardous impacts of customer items and their fixings. To quantify lethal impacts, distinctive creatures like mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, and different creatures are compelled to breathe in huge amounts of a test substance. Indeed, even after it has been set up that tests on creatures are unequipped for anticipating the aftereffects of human skin and body and the accessibility of testing techniques without the utilization of creatures, there is a continuation of such coldhearted practice. However, as a help to creatures and the every living creature's common sense entitlement activists, the Center has received the tenets that force an across the nation prohibition on testing beautifiers on the creature. The boycott came after the tenets of the Bureau of Indian Standard were updated. In any case, the law has numerous zones in which there are numerous escape clauses like the boycott is incomplete as in the import of creature tried items is as yet legitimate, as there's a requirement for a law that will likewise disallow the deal and import of creature tried items.
Animals Kept in Battery Cages: India is the 3rd biggest maker of eggs and near about 70% of eggs originate from business poultry farms. Segment 11 (e) particularly discusses the space which a creature ought to get, yet the enclosures are extremely congested, and it doesn't enable the privilege to development of creatures, which means in this manner to negate the demonstration unmistakably.
The government has an imperative capacity, i.e., if the disciplines for such sorts of offense can be made stricter, then the general population will attempt to fare thee well and won't savagely murder blameless animals.
In 2011, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals revised and renamed as Indian Animal Welfare Act as a need was felt to change the old law. Notwithstanding such a large number of laws the drive will just come when individuals work together with every living creature's common sense entitlement bodies and associations and endeavor endeavors to ad lib the pitiable state of creatures. Aside from this, legislature and non-government organizations can find a way to amend the framework.
Another recommendation to enhance the framework is to set up and strengthen theSociety for Prevention of Cruelty to Animal, a NGO that can work in each state independently with no impedance of the state. There is likewise a need to ensure that the State Animal Welfare Board runs appropriately, in light of the fact that in many states there is no such board and where there is one it hasn't met for a considerable length of time.
These little changes by various gatherings and partners can change the situation for animals in India, and no mercilessness of any kind would be available in our general public.
Author: Sanjeev Nanda is a law aspirant. He is presently doing research on different laws and regulations pertaining to environment law, labour law and human rights.