Animals Rights in India need Critical Change – Content
- Human beings of the country
- Legislation for animal rights and welfare
- Some other animal rights and laws
- Punishments on violation of animal rights
- Legislation an actual scenario
- What needs to be done
While we carry on our day-to-day work we come across many incidents where in one way or the other. An animal is being tortured and we tend to ignore the fact that how it is both morally and legally wrong.
Our constitution makes it a fundamental duty by Article 51A(g) to protect wildlife and have compassion for all the living creature. Many laws and acts have been enacted in order to protect the animals from all the apprehension.
But just like any other law in India, these regulations to protect the animals are only written in the books of law and are not properly executed.
The lack of responsibility of the authorities, ineffective and weak laws. Ignorance and immaturity of the people around have led to such a situation where we have to think twice before calling ourselves human beings.
This article talks about the recent rise in animal brutality and how we, as responsible citizens, and the authorities are not doing enough regarding this condition.
(IN)HUMAN BEINGS OF THE COUNTRY
Animal cruelty has long been a significant concern in India and has historically been denied the importance it deserves. To explicate my point, one may refer to the following instances:
- A housewife in the southern state of Karnataka smashes 8 puppies to “teach their mother a lesson”
- A 34-year-old man took a female dog into his house and raped it. 1
- A man, in Uttar Pradesh, poured acid on five new born puppies and their mother.
- A pregnant goat was raped by 8 men in the state of Haryana. 2
- A street dog was left to die when workers poured hot tar on it while sleeping. 3
These are just few incidents where these harmless and defenceless creatures were tortured and killed by the deranged and sadistic citizens of the country.
One might think that most of these incidents took place in the states where most of the population is illiterate.
Consider the following incident that took place in Kerala, where the literate population is the highest in the country.
- A pregnant elephant was allegedly killed after being fed pineapple stuffed with crackers by a local while it was roaming in a village called Malappuram. The elephant died standing in the river because its lower jaw was severely injured due to the bursting of the crackers.
- Animal rights activists in Thrissur district rescued a dog that had tape wound tightly around its mouth. According to media reports, the Thrissur unit of people for Animal welfare services received phone calls them of a dog with tape wound around its mouth that was wandering around the Ollur locality. 4
Official data shows that man-animal conflicts increased in Kerala from 6,022 cases to 7,229 between 2016 and 2018, according to a 2019 news report.
It shows that being educated does not affect how you treat an innocent and defenceless animal. And because of this we fail as responsible citizens as well as human beings.
LEGISLATION FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS AND WELFARE
Since people fail to recognize that voiceless animals are living beings that feel the same amount of pain and sadness as human, and in some cases even more. There are some rules put forwarded by the Constitution of India in favour of the voiceless and those who are working towards the welfare of these animals.
- According to Article 51A(g) it is a fundamental duty of every citizen of India to guard wildlife and have compassion for all living creatures.
- Regarding the obligation to arrange agriculture and animal husbandry on modern, scientific lines and to take steps and improving breeds, prohibiting slaughter of cows and calves, and other milch and draught cattle, Article 48 is to be considered.
- The states, according to Article 48A, have an obligation to protect, safeguard and mend the forests and wildlife of the country.
- According to the State List, Seventh Schedule, state has the power to preserve, protect and improve stock and prevent animal diseases, and enforce veterinary training and practices.
- Both centre and the state, according to the concurrent list, have the power to prevent cruelty to animals and protect wild animals rights and birds.
It is clear that constitution has given animal rights to both the centre and the state in view of protecting the cruelty against the animals.
With these constitutional provisions, many laws and acts relating to the safeguard of animals has been introduced and enacted the central and the state government:
- With the objective of prevention of infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals, a Central Legislation regarding animal protection was enacted. This Act was called Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- Another Central Act, The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 was enacted in order to safeguard the wild birds, animals, plants, etc.
Other laws for animal rights are found under-
- 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, 2017
- Animal Birth control (Dog) Rules, 2001, etc.
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Some detailed offences and punishments under the above mentioned Acts relating to cruelty and the incidents mentioned earlier in this article are:
- By section 38(j) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, teasing, molesting, injuring, feeding or causing disturbance to any animal by noise or otherwise is prohibited. Any person found guilty of this offence may face an imprisonment of up to 3 years or a fine of up to Rs. 25,000 or both.
- Abandoning of an animal, leaving it in a situation that it suffers pain due to starvation or thirst is a punishable offence under section 11(i) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- Under the Indian Penal Code, sections 428 and 429, killing, poisoning, maiming or torturing an animal is a cognizable offence. Rigorous imprisonment of 2 years or a fine or both is the punishment under these two sections.
- As per the government of India, Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001, dogs can be sterilized only after attaining the age of 4 months and no sterilised dog can be relocated from their area.
LEGISLATION AND THE ACTUAL SCENARIO
After discussing some laws regarding the safety of animals and observing the rigorous punishments,
One may think that the authorities are doing every possible deed and do not lack in any way.
But if we look around, we can comprehend that what is written in the books of law is nowhere near to what is happening around us.
There is a bridge between the Legislation that we read, and the actual scenario which shows the real picture if perceived correctly.
Let us take a look on how the authorities are lacking in fulfilling their responsibilities and duties:
- About the incident of a 34-year-old man rapping a female dog discussed earlier in this article, the person who made the complaint about this incident said that even after four days of receiving the complaint, and the post-mortem report given by the doctors, cops had not converted it in into an FIR until the complainant met senior officials. A few hours after approaching the seniors, the Fir was registered under section 429 of the Indian Penal Code and section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and despite confirmation of the autopsy report, section 377 of the IPC has not been added in the FIR. 5
- In our country everyone has the habit of turning everything into a political controversy. The incident of a pregnant elephant’s death was turned into a political controversy after right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party ministers made factually incorrect remarks, while their supporters tried to blame Muslims for the incident on social media. Making this incident a political issue is the last thing that we need right now.
- Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 the fine for the offences are up to INR 50. The lives of these innocent animals cannot be rounded up to such a less amount.
These legislation are old and out-dated. Even after the existing laws if the crime rates are raising then it is an alarming situation and
sign that a change is needed in order to guard the innocent animals in the country and to protect animal rights.
With the rise of such heinous crimes, there is a strict need for a revision of laws in the country
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE
Accepting the alarming situation and that certain change are needed is the first step that needs to be done in this scenario.
Ignorance will only lead to further rise of such dreadful and terrible crimes. Here are some measures that need to be taken by both, the authorities and the people:
- Revising old laws and making amendments in the punishment of the offences, like increase in fine and strictness in the matters of bail. Fining just INR50-100 does not make people realise their wrongful deed.
- Making of the new strict and active laws with effective provisions in order to overcome the need of the situation.
- The authorities in control needs to be more operative and quick in taking action against the guilty in such matters by making sure the correct procedure is followed. Delay in filing F.I.R and charge sheet makes the matter worse and results in injustice.
- NGOs and other animal rights organisations like PETA, etc. to protect the animals should be given enough liberty to do the work which others fail to understand. The authorities should take them serious when they reach to them for any kind of aid.
- People should take care of the local animals in their locality and make sure no one harms them unnecessarily and unreasonably.
India has come a long way in providing the citizens with the appropriate laws and justice and
have to come further long by keeping in mind the other living creatures of the country other than human beings.
Justice is for everyone and there can be no discrimination on any basis in providing the same.
I would like to emphasise that animal empowerment or to give animal rights does not actually mean turning vegan and adopting a puppy.
There is a lot that people can do and it takes only the bare minimum efforts which can make a huge change.
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- Pallabi Chatterjee “Appalling! Kolkata man held for raping street dog” News Bytes July 17, 2018, ↩
- Pregnant goat dies after being allegedly gang raped by 8 men in Haryana” Hindustan Times July 29, 2018, ↩
- Outraged People Call for Maximum Punishment after Image of Dog Buried Alive under Tar Goes Viral” India Times June 15, 2018 ↩
- “Kerala: Dog with its mouth sealed by tape for 2 weeks rescued” The Week June 08, 2020 ↩
- “Horrible: 34-year-old man accused of raping female puppy to death in Delhi” India Today Aug 21, 2017. ↩