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THE CURRENT SCENARIO OF ANIMAL RIGHTS IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

Animals are an important part of the environment, and the right granted is almost insignificant. Cruelty and animal abuse are considered acts of violence and attacks on animals. Animal cruelty obligates us to fulfil our responsibility to provide for them. Animal protection is incorporated as a basic obligation in the Indian Const., and India has several animal welfare regulations., including At the federal level, there is the PCA(Prevention of Cruelty to Animal) Act 1960 and the WPA(wildlife protection Act) 1972[1], while at the state level, there is cattle protection and cow slaughter ban laws.[2]

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 is the country’s official criminal code, covering all substantive areas of criminal law. Sections 428 and 429 of the IPC criminalise any acts of cruelty towards animals. Regardless of particular legislation, further rights for animals can be found in broad ideas such as tort law, constitutional law, and so on.[3]

CASES

Animal Welfare Board of India vs. A. Nagaraja & Ors[4]

During this time, the term Jallikattu was coined. The bull’s horns are adorned with silver or gold coins. were referred to as ‘Jalli’. In Jallikattu, wounds and even murders occur. In 2004, at least five people were killed and hundreds were injured in various towns. Over the last two decades, two hundred people have died. In contrast to Spanish bullfighting, the bull is not killed. The bulls suffer losses only infrequently. Every year, a few animal activists protest This dangerous diversion, yet thus far, their objections have been in vain.[5]

In India, the Central Act “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960” stipulates that animal torturing must be forbidden, Moreover, the Tamil Nadu government approved the Tamil Nadu Registration of Jallikattu Act, 2009 in response to the state’s worry over forbidding the diversion.  In India, the Central Act “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960” prohibits animal cruelty. The practice was previously prohibited by the Supreme Court in January 2008, but it was overturned four days later. The court also rules that the interpretation of Section 3 of the PCA Act would be ‘amended and abused’ by the government. The Supreme Court in this judgement forbade exercises that physically and emotionally harmed animals, Jallikattu and bullock-cart racing are two examples., claiming that animals would suffer extreme anguish and would respond in a flight reflex to get away from the fear. [6]

PROVISIONS FOR ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PROTECTION IN INDIA

1.     There are no regulations against individuals feeding stray animals. (High Court, Delhi)

Strays can be fed in two ways i.e. legal and beneficial because it enables you to simply confine them to the place where they should be. This allows for effective birth control and allows for effective birth control and frequent immunisation.[7]

2.     Non-governmental organisations are primarily responsible for enforcing these prohibitions. (NGOs).

The PCA Act of 1960, as amended by Section 38 of the act, notably the ABC (Dogs) Rules of 2001; Indian Penal Code sections 428 and 429; and (g) of Article 51A of the Constitution protect stray dogs. People go unpunished despite such stringent laws because it is difficult to bring them to justice.[8]

3. It does not give dangerous food to stray animals.

Anyone caught doing so faces prosecution in the 11th section of the 1960 PCA Act, which is relevant throughout India except in J&K.[9]

4. Those who feed stray animals receive identity cards from the AWBI.

These Identity Cards are beneficial to anyone who wish to safeguard stray animals from those who despise animals. In addition, the Board organises Animal Welfare Schemes, which are not getting enough attention.[10]

5. It is against the law to maim or  Attack any kind of animal.

Sections 428 and 429 of the IPC, as well as The CCA (The Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960), make maiming or injuring any animal criminal. It is also illegal for vehicles to intentionally injure dogs, cats, or cows on the road. Anyone caught infringing these restrictions is possible to report to the authorities and the native animal rescue organisation. A case can also be filed under the previously specified provisions.[11]

SOLUTION

Though there are laws and provisions available for safeguarding the rights of an animal, the application of this against the wrongdoer still seems a mirage. Thus, proper implementation of these laws is all that we need and punishment which is way stricter whether financial or punitive. Countries like US and UK follows zero tolerance for animal cruelty, the authorities should decisively act towards the complaints as delay in action leads to the unfortunate outcome for vulnerable creatures. even pet owners should be accountable for their pets and not simply dump them on the streets when going on a holiday, leaving a city or giving up for a better breed, handing them over to a new owner or microchipping which is a radio-frequency identification transponder can be used as a solution to trace the abandoned animals. There should also be the availability of public shelter in cities for these strays to make it feasible to adopt and there should also be the availability of a government run-ambulance network as in Andhra Pradesh, to help reach out and provide proper care to the distressed animals, and well- equipped government hospitals with the availability of qualified meritorious veterinarian, as there have been many instances where the animals who are commercially used are given better treatment and others such as cats, hamster etc. are often neglected.[12]

With the burgeoning pet industry, the abuse towards animals also affects human lives in the form of diseases that emerged by mixing solid waste of industries with municipal waste, as evil anywhere is a problem everywhere.

Further, plant-based or crude products should be used by consumers as thousands of animals are merely killed or poisoned by corporations for testing cosmetics, household or biological products instead the research could be done on certain parts of the skin or other methods.

If there is a right to live and a right against exploitation for citizens then they should know that there is also the right to life of animals and it’s our duty to protect wildlife, thus, there should be an awareness programme for people at large for instigating behavioural and attitudinal change in people’s lifestyle which should be promoted by Government.[13]

CONCLUSION

Animals a friend of human kind , often been subjected to atrocities by human itself, but still titled a friend, is capable of understanding emotions and feelings too , however they are referred savages by some due to their hostile nature, and  are often left at the mercy of themselves or captivate them to the extend to make them breft of their natural habitat into it they perish while’ “standing on the grave of dreams,’ for even though they are in their element but are not free”,their value is considered not more than of consumption,  an acquisition to show off or as the medium to earn living, however this does not mean one should stop consuming  milk as it’s a basic necessity for human, but harming them for fun should be curbed ,and this will not be possible without the contribution of each individual , to end the apathy into empathy for those who can’t speak or can’t make a living ,should at least be one of the duty of us , though knowing there is nothing they can return , but a genuine thankfulness expressed through their eyes. They are part of the environment and have equal rights to use the sources of nature, to protect them is the duty of all, they are sentient being who is ‘helpless in our cruel hands and vulnerable to our vicious greed’ (Debasish mridha). and thus, their inherent rights should not be denied as once said by Gandhi “The way a country treats its animals might reveal its grandeur and moral growth.”[14]

Authors Name: Sanjeev Lakra & Lipika Anamika Surin (National University of Study and Research in Law  Ranchi)

References:

[1] Wildlife Protection Act 1972

[2] Sushree Sahu, ‘Animal Protection Laws: Are The Animals Really Protected’( Lawyersclubindia, 24 July 2021) <https://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/animal-protection-laws-are-the-animals-really-protected-14184.asp> accessed 26 January 2023

[3]Ibid

[4] Animal Welfare Board of India v A. Nagaraja&Ors. (2014) Civil Appeal No. 5387/2014

[5] Renuka Sara Abraham, ‘Case Comment on Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja & Ors. (the Jallikattu Judgment)’ (Law Octopus, 16 November 2015) <https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/jallikattu-verdict-supreme-court/#_edn1> accessed 26 January 2023

[6] Ibid

[7] ‘6 rights every animal lover from India should know’ (India Today, 27 March 2017) <https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/rules-for-animal-welfare-967061-2017-03-22 > accessed January 2023

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10]Ibid

[11] Ibid

[12] Sumit Arora, ‘Andhra Pradesh to launch India’s first Govt-Run Animal Ambulance Network’ (Adda 247, 24 March 2021) <https://currentaffairs.adda247.com/andhra-pradesh-to-launch-indias-first-govt-run-animal-ambulance-network/>  accessed 26 January 2023

[13] ‘Persuasive Essay on Animal Rights And Ethics ’(UKEssay, 21 November 2018) <https://www.ukessays.com/essays/philosophy/animal-rights-and-ethics-philosophy-essay.php#citethis>  accessed 26 January 2023

[14]A Sutherland and J.E. Nash, ‘Animal Rights as a New Environmental Cosmology. Qualitative Sociology’ 17(2) 1994