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A Critical Study on Prevention of Animal Cruelty in India

Every country has their own national animal or bird and each nation use to represent animal as a symbol of their pride and prestige. In the ancient Hindus in India used to symbolise animals as their god and goddess. But presently in our country people uses animal for many purposes like bullock cart or horse cart, entertainment purposes also in sports, circuses or zoos, even for scientific experiments and education. Not only that human beings are also raped animals.

Relationship between man and animal is as old as evolution of mankind itself. So the protection of animals and regulate them, were needed as per need of the human beings. Every day, numerous animals die because of inhumanity, cruelty and brutality.

It hardly needs to be stated that the human nature along with technological advancements have extended its boundary the law should be at par with that, but still the law is struggling to define the boundaries to control animal abuse and exploitation which is deep matter of concern. Due to the loopholes of the existing laws the culprits of animal abuse are taking maximum benefits from this. Animal abuse is a global issue with no territorial limitations that has become essential to spread awarness among the masses for the same.

Meaning of Animal Cruelty

Animal cruelty also animal abuse or animal neglect, is the infliction by omission(neglect)or by commission by humans of suffering or harm upon non-human animals.

According to PCA, Act, 1960 section 11(1) the following are the definitions or meanings of animal cruelty if any person:

  1. beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering or causes or, being the owner permits, any animals to be so treated; or
  2. employs in any work or labour or for any purpose any animal which, by reason of its age or any disease, infirmity, wound, sore or other cause, is unfit to be so employed or, being the owner, permits any such unfit animal to be so employed; or
  3. wilfully and unreasonably administers any injurious drug or injurious substance to any animal or wilfully and unreasonably causes or attempts to cause any such drug or substance to be taken by any animal; or
  4. conveys or carries, whether in or upon any vehicle or not, any animal in such a manner or position as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering; or
  5. keeps or confines any animal in any cage or other receptacle which does not measure sufficiently in height, length and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement; or
  6. keeps for an unreasonable time any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or unreasonably heavy chain or cord; or
  7. being the owner, neglects to exercise or cause to be exercised reasonably any dog habitually chained up or kept in close confinement; or
  8. being the owner of any animal, fails to provide such animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter; or
  9. without reasonable cause, abandons any animal in circumstances which render it likely that it will suffer pain by reason of starvation or thirst; or
  10. wilfully permits any animal, of which he is the owner to go at large in any street while the animal is affected with 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; or
  11. 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; or
  12. 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; or
  13. solely with a view to providing entertainment�
    1. confines or causes to be confined any animal (including tying of an animal as a bait in a tiger or other sanctuary) so as to make it an object of prey for any other animal; or
    2. incites any animal to fight or bait any other animal; or
  14. organises, 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; or
  15. promotes or takes part in any shooting match or competition wherein animals are released from captivity for the purpose of such shooting.

Types of Animal Cruelty in India

Simple Neglect
In this form, general care for the animal, such as proper food and water, as well as veterinary care, is neglected. This is the most widespread type of cruelty to animals worldwide. Nowadays, few people chain their pets instead of using a neck belt. This sometimes results in significant injuries near the creatures' necks, which amounts to basic neglect.

Gross Neglect
In this type, the perpetrator purposely and deliberately attempts animal harm. There is a significant distinction between neglecting to provide appropriate food and drink to the animal and deliberately restricting food and drink from the animal. Simple failing occurs when a person lacks the intent to commit cruelty, whereas purposeful failure occurs when a person intends to attempt cruelty. A classic example of this is leaving the suffering animal or pet outside in the rain and cold.

Animal Hoarding
This category includes people who own a huge number of animals but fail to provide them with basic necessities such as hygiene, sanitation, nutritious food, and so on. This form of cruelty is not deliberate, but rather the result of a person's inability to maintain minimum standards.

Organized Abuse
In this type, the animals compete in a fatal sport in which one of them will undoubtedly die. The most common examples of this are dogfighting and cockfighting, which are popular in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Ritualistic Abuse
This type of brutality has existed since antiquity, in which innocent creatures such as dogs, cats, goats, and cows are slaughtered in the name of ritual. Some frequent examples include slitting a goat's throat, nailing a cat to a crucifix and burning it in front of the entire crowd, and so on.

Bestiality is a sexual activity between a human and an animal and some authorities restrict such type of copulation between a human and an animal of the opposite sex. This is an awful crime and is considered a sin committed against nature. Between 2010 and 2020, 82 cases of sexual abuse of animals took place in India, as per the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations and All Creatures Great and Small.

A monitor lizard allegedly raped by 4 men in Maharashtra in March. A cow allegedly raped by a man in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow in April. National Crime Records Bureau, or NRCB, according to activists. Here are some other horrible cases which came to light in recent years.

In July 2018, activists claimed that a female dog in Goa's Siolim village had been brutalised with a screwdriver being pushed into its private parts. In the same month, the alleged rape of a pregnant goat in Haryana's Mewat grabbed headlines. The animal's owner claimed that 8 men had assaulted the goat, leading to its death.

More recently, in September last year, a 60-year-old was arrested in Rajasthan's Kota for allegedly raping a stray dog. A month later, a 67-year-old was accused of raping his neighbour's pet dog in Haryana's Gurugram, and the act was caught on camera.

Constitutional Position of Animals in India
It is the duty of Indian citizens to protect the environment and be compassionate toward all living beings. The Indian Constitution accounts for the safety and dignified treatment of animal life and has provisions for animal rights just like the fundamental rights given to all its citizens.

Article 21
Article 21 states that everyone has the right to life and cannot be deprived of life or personal liberty, unless established by law. The supreme court has in animal welfare board of India v. A. Nagaraja (jallikattu case) extended the rights guaranteed under this article.

Article 51 A (g)
In the same ruling, the Supreme Court declared Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution to be the "magna carta of animal rights" in India and included the right to life of animals under Article 21 to value their lives as much as humans.

With the 42nd Amendment of 1976, Article 51 A of the Constitution laid down the Fundamental Duties of Indian citizens. Article 51 A (g) states that it is the duty of Indian citizens 'to protect and improve the natural environment and have compassion for all living creatures.

Article 48 and 48 A
The Directive Principles of State Policy in Article 48 of the Constitution lays the foundation of animal welfare state policies. According to Article 48, the State shall aim to improve animal husbandry through a modern scientific approach, while preserving, enhancing, and preventing slaughter of cattle. Furthermore, according to Article 48A, added during the 42nd Amendment, the State endeavours to maintain and protect the ecology, forests, wildlife and the environment in the country.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960

If any person commits any of the act mentioned clause (a) to (o) of section 11(1) he shall be punishable in the case of a first offence, with fine which shall not be less than Rs. 10 but which may extend to Rs. 50 and in the second or subsequent offence committed within 3 years of the previous offence, with fine which shall not be less than Rs. 25 but may extend to Rs.100 or with imprisonment for term which may extend to 3 months or with both.

The Defect in The PCA Act

When everything seems to be great with this act I may point out the one and the most major defect with act, the act which is also the back bone of most all the other animal welfare laws also and this is the only defect which is a major reason of its ineffectiveness. If a person injects any substances in the body of any milch animal for purpose of improving lactation it being against the provision of section 12 of the PCA Act, he for the first time will be punishable for a fine which may extend to Rs.1000 only or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with both and the animal on which the operation was performed shall be forfeited to the government.

Subsequently moving further the penalty for the acts which are against the provisions of prevention of animal cruelty while experimentation is prescribed as with fine which may extend to two hundreds rupees and when the contravention or breach of condition has taken place in any institution the person in-charge of the institution shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be punishable accordingly.

While for a offence which is against the provision of section-11, the section which embodies the provisions of animal cruelty in almost all cases is in the case of a first offence, with fine which shall not be less than 25 rs but which may extend, to one hundred rupees or with imprisonment for a term which may extend, to three months or with both. It is pertinent to mention here that such penalties of fine like ten, fifty, hundred or two hundred are almost equivalent to negligible in the present scenario and neither is that of one thousand rupees is that effective.

Such a problem has generated because of the fact of ignorance of the legislation and political powers for some previous decades as it pertinent to mention here that this Act was made in 1960 when the value of Indian Rupees was comparatively very high (1 pound being equal to 13 rupees while today 1 pound is equal to 94.79 Indian Rupees), thus it had the potential of having an deterrent effect in the society at least at that time when it was enacted but at the present time such minimal penalties have become negligible and one may forget about it having a deterrent effect but an offender may not have any problem in taking the risk of paying such fine. And most defect in this Act that there is no penalty provision for animal rape.

The Need for More Effective Penalties
The negligible penalties of PCA Act and some other animal welfare laws are posing serious problems for effective implementation of the of the objectives of these laws. penalty for violation of those rights are insignificant, since laws are made by humans. Punishment prescribed in section 11(1) is not commensurate with the gravity of the offence, hence being violated with impunity defeating the very object and purpose of the act, hence the necessity of taking disciplinary action against those officers who fail to discharge their duties to safeguard the statutory rights of animals under the PCA Act.

The shortage of low fine amount and a shortage of inspectors had resulted in increased cruelty towards animals. Thus there remains to be an urgent need for amended and more effective laws from the legislature. And also implemented separate provision for animal rape in PCA Act.

  • What are the rights of animals:
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960.
  • P.P. Mitra, An introduction to Animals laws in India (1st Edition, Thomson Reuters South Asia Private Limited, 2019).

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Riya Shil
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: MR408008469416-20-0224

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