Cruelty towards animals include harming an animal including stray animals in any form including killing or maiming. Besides hunting, animal cruelty is one of the growing and major concern related to animals. It is a matter of prime concern not only India but in the entire world.
Several laws have been enacted at national and international level by various activist organizations in order to mitigate the cruelty.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960
- An act ordained by the Parliament of India to prevent the ill treatment of animals that causes them unnecessary pain and suffering.
- It also provides provisions for amending laws relating to the prevention of cruelty of animals.
- Animal Welfare Board of India was formed as per the provisions of this law.
- The newly amended Indian Animal Welfare Act, 2011 states that cruelty to animals is an offence and is punishable with a fine which shall not be less than ₹10,000, which may extend to ₹25,000 or with imprisonment up to two years or both in the case of a first offence.
- In the case of second offence, fine should be imposed which shall not be less than ₹50,000 and may extend to ₹1,00,000 with imprisonment with a term of not less than one year but may extend to three year.
- The Indian Animal Welfare Act, 2011 however is awaiting ratification from government and hence the PCA Act in the meanwhile is the one that is practiced as of now.
The maximum penalty under the 1962 Act is ₹50 (under $1).
What is PETA?
- PETA is a non-profit organization which Stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It has a total of 5 million members.
- Founded on 22 March, 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco.
- It is an internationally recognized organization and is also the largest animal rights group in the world.
- It focuses on four main issues:
- Opposition to factory farming
- Fur farming
- Animal testing
- Animals in entertainment
- It also campaigns against eating meat, fishing, the killing of animals regarded as pests, the keeping of chained backyard dogs, cock fighting, dog fighting, and bullfighting.
Recent cases of Animal Cruelty.
A boy in Chennai threw a dog holding his neck from a rooftop, video of which went viral on social media.
Due to being thrown from rooftop the dog survived many injuries and is recovering after given a treatment in animal hospital.
Two boys were held against charges under The Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 but were given a bail by the court after imposed by a fine of mere ₹50 which outraged social activists.
Eight boys were arrested in Hyderabad for setting 3 alive puppies ablaze.
The boys aged between 10 to 17, were presented before Juvenile Justice Board after the video of their cruel act went viral on social media.
Basic Laws in India regarding Animal Cruelty
- Article 51A(g) – It is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures. .
- IPC Sections 428 and 429 – To kill or maim any animal, including stray animals, is a punishable offence. .
- Section 11(1)(i) and Section 11(1)(j), PCA Act, 1960 – Abandoning any animal for any reason can land you in prison for up to three months.
- Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 – Stray dogs that have been operated for birth control cannot be captured or relocated by anybody including any authority.
- Monkeys are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and cannot be displayed or owned.
- Section 22(ii), PCA Act, 1960 – Bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls are prohibited from being trained and used for entertainment purposes, either in circuses or streets.
- Rule 3, Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001 – Animal sacrifice is illegal in every part of the country.
- Section 11(1)(m)(ii) and Section 11(1)(n), PCA Act, 1960 – Organizing of or participating in or inciting any animal fight is a cognizable offence.
- Rules 148-C and 135-B of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945 – Cosmetics tested on animals and the import of cosmetics tested on animals is banned.
- Section 38J, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 – Teasing, feeding or disturbing the animals in a zoo and littering the zoo premises is an offence punishable by a fine of ₹25000 or imprisonment of up to three years or both.
- Section 9, 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 ₹25000 or imprisonment of up to seven years or both.
- Section 9, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 – Disturbing or destroying eggs or nests of birds and reptiles or chopping a tree having nests of such birds and reptiles or even attempting to do so constitutes to hunting and attracts a punishment of a fine of up to ₹ 25000, or imprisonment of up to seven years or both.
What can you do?
- Write to the Minister of Environment and Forests and encourage him to increase the currently meagre and ineffective penalties for cruelty to animals.
- Encourage your local police to take cruelty-to-animals cases seriously.
- Write to PETA at PETAIndia@petaindia.org to request any case that police or responsible authority is not taking seriously.
- Urge your state government take cruelty to animals seriously.
- Be aware of signs indicating that children or animals are being abused. Some children won’t talk about their own suffering but will talk about an animal’s.
- When you see a dog or cow being hit or stoned, be sure to inform the offender of the law and get him or her to stop. Should the abuse persist, register an FIR at the closest police station.
On a positive note
- Many organizations are actively involved in assisting the general population in reporting cruelty cases to the police and helping bring the perpetrator to justice.
- The Centre has banned the depiction of cruelty or violence towards animals in any form on television, cable and other broadcasting networks which is a good sign.
- Supreme Court has also banned Jallikattu, popular bull-taming sport associated with annual harvest festivities in Tamil Nadu, which is a great step.
Yes we have extenuated cruelty towards animals to a great extent but still our laws are outdated and pathetic and to completely eradicate this we need to reform and enact new laws immediately.