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Animal Right: Myth or Reality

Mahatma Gandhi the father of our Nation once said:
The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. The life of an animal is as precious as ours. It is our fundamental duty to have compassion for every living creatures. But in other hand when we look at zoos and circus where we see animals behind the bars looking at us for some clemency. Zoos are the only place where animals kept behind the bars without committing any crimes.

They too have feelings and emotion they belongs to their own natural world .Nobody has given us right to keep them socially isolated behind the bars and confine them in a small artificial area away from their family and home.

If we cannot put the humans behind the bars without committing any crime so how can we put these voiceless creature behind the bar in zoos and circus without proper foods and proper care .Where are those rights conferred to these animals under the different articles of constitution and provided through the different act like The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 And The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act, 1960. We can see these animals standing sad and depressed in some corner of the zoos.

We as a society don't want to consider them as a part of our society we don't want to accept them in our society. We sees these voiceless stray animals as a threat and don't think for a second that these voiceless creature too have feelings and they also feels the same pain and sadness as human do feel. We have to understand that in our Ecosystem each one have their important role to play. The whole food chain and food web will be disturb if we just put away even a single creature out of it. Albert Einstein once said that if all the bees will disappear from earth after four year all humans will also disappears from the Earth. So we can clearly understand that every creature is equally important for the existence of each other.

Violation of animal rights at different Instances

Medical Experimentation and cosmetic testing

In U.S. just for biology lessons, medical training ,experiments, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetic testing more than 100 million animals like mice, rats, frogs ,dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds are killed in a single year .Animals are treated as inhuman manner during these experiments.

Some of them are forced to inhale toxic fumes, or their skins are burnt or their spines are crushed and many more inhuman act. They are socially isolated and physically traumatized in these cages. During research and experiment of these cosmetic and pharmaceutical product animals are not given proper painkiller so that they can bear the intense pain during the experiment.

It is neither ethical nor in accordance with law to kill millions of animals each year across the globe just for experiments. At present time science is on its height can't we find some alternative to these experiments or another way in which these animals have to bear lesser pain?

Leather Industry

More than a billion animals in this cruel world are slaughtered every year by the global leather industry . Animals like snake, alligators, crocodiles, kangaroos, zebras, bison, elephants, ostriches, lizards, tigers and lions are just killed for their skins. The exotic luxury products like bags, belts, watchbands, leather jackets, soccer shoes and many more things are made from the skin and fur of these animals. These animals have to go through a very painful and cruel process when they are skinned.

In Australia millions of kangaroos are slaughtered each year and their skins are often used for making of Soccer Shoes . After knowing the cruel killings of kangaroos for making of soccer shoes, soccer star David Beckham stop using these shoes and shifted to the shoes made from Synthetic material in 2006. Adidas also stop using kangaroo skins for making shoes.

In ancient time our society don't have that much of technologies so they use to kill animals and make clothes from their skin. At present time we have different modern technologies and different alternatives like cotton and synthetic product. So why can't we use these things synthetic products are much cheaper than the product made of animals skin. We can't kill billions of animals each year just to look exotic and affluent. This is highly immoral and unethical to kill those voiceless innocent creature just to fulfil our foolish needs when other alternatives are available at present time.

Dairy Industry

All the mulch animals are exploited in dairy farms till the time they produces milk they are provided foods when they stop producing milk they are slaughtered for their skin and meat. In farms these animals are given artificial feeds and chemicals so that they quickly grew up and give milks in larger quantity. Calves are separated from their mothers just after one day of their birth so that they don't consumes their mother milk. Keeping calves away from their mother is highly immoral. Chemicals are injected in hens so that they can produce more eggs on regular basis.

These chemicals affect the health of animals and the products are not so healthy and have an adverse effect on human health too. Slowly these products start deteriorating the heaths of those who uses it. In dairy farms these animals are also not kept in very good conditions.

Hunting and Poaching

In 20th century there were 100,000 tigers but at present there are hardly 3,000 tigers left in India. Tiger poaching is a multi-billion dollar trade run by the international crime syndicate. According to a report in poaching there is 4% conviction rate .Most of the tigers part are exported to China where just a single skin are sold for Rs. 6.5 million. Due to constant hunting and poaching the numbers of tigers are declining in different biosphere reserve and parks in India.

After launch of Project Tiger and initiative of different NGO the numbers of tigers are increasing.
95% of one horned rhino in the world. At present Rhinos are listed as vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List. Their population is depleting due to the hunting and destruction of their natural habitat by human beings for farming and another uses.

The elephants hunting in south Indian states like Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka are raising a great concern. Elephants are mostly killed for ivory and tusk, the rate of hunting is around 100 male elephant per year. Apart from poacher another concern is the destruction of their natural habitat. The forest cover in India is decreasing day by day and the forest lands are turned by the locals into cultivatable land.

Rights conferred by Indian Constitution to Animals

  • Article 51(A) (G) of the constitution says that it is duty of citizen to protect and improve wildlife and have compassion for living creatures.
  • Article 48 of the constitution prohibits slaughter of cows and calves and other mulch animals and draught cattle. It is not legally enforceable because it comes under Directive Principles and it also contradict right to freedom.
  • Article 48A of the constitution says that state has duty to protect preserve and improve the wildlife and forest of the country. It was added by the 42nd amendment act, 1976.
  • Article 243(G) under eleventh schedule provides power and authority to gram panchayat to look into the matter of farm forestry, animal husbandry and poultry farming's.


Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

The wildlife protection act was enacted by Indian Parliament to protect the animal and plant species. The acts have different schedules of protected plant and animal species, hunting poaching and harvesting of these scheduled species are outlawed . It gives protection to all the birds, wild animals and plants and it is enforceable in whole India.

It has six schedules which defines different things like varying degrees of protection and punishment it defines terms like hunting and the plants species which can be planted cultivated or not. Before the enactment of the act in 1972 India has only five designated national parks , this act specifically classifies the

National parks as a protected area for the wildlife and plant species residing there. It focuses on the protection of the flora and fauna and it put forward a framework for future generation to protect its Ecosystem.

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960

  • The prevention of cruelty to animal act was enacted by Indian parliament in the year 1960, the purpose of enacting the act was to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to amend the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals . AWBI (Animal Welfare Board of India) was formed by the government of India as per the provision of this act. some of the important provisions of this act is as follow.
     
  • Section11(1)(a) says if somebody beats , kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, torture an animal which leads animal to unnecessary pain or suffering they shall deemed to have committed an offence and are liable for punishment.
     
  • Sction11 (1) (n) makes organising or participation or baiting in any type of animal fight a punishable offence.
     
  • Section 12 says if any person inject anything to improve lactation which is harmful to the health of animal, he shall be punishable with a fine up to thousand rupees or imprisonment up to two years or both.
     
  • Section 22 prohibits use of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions ad bulls for training and used for entertainment purpose either in streets or circus


Some other Laws Pertaining to Animals

  • Under Section 428 Indian Penal Code of whoever commits mischief by killing, torturing, poisoning or thrashing any animals will be punished with an imprisonment up to 2 year or fine or both.
  • Under section 429 of the IPC if the cost of animal is above Rs. 50 the term extends up to 5 year.
  • Under Slaughter House Rules, 2001 animals are not allowed to slaughter in any other area except in slaughter house recognised by authority.


To slaughter an animal there are:

Some rules that animal should not be pregnant, has not an offspring less than off three month old, and the animal must be of at least three month.
Under wildlife protection act monkeys are protected species it can't be owned or displayed.

In Karnail Singh v. State of Haryana the court under the jurisprudence of animal rights declared that animals and birds have legal rights, just as humans have their legal rights. The court declare citizens as the guardian of animal kingdom with an important duty to ensure there welfare and protection. Further Justice Rajiv Sharma, said all the animals have honour and dignity. Every species has a right to live and it should be protected by the laws 9

Conclusion
The objectives of all these laws are to save our diverse flora and fauna and protect animals from cruelty and hunting. But when we look at the data's from the different authorities it shows that we are far behind in achieving these objectives. According to a report India have 172 or 2.9% of IUCN designated threatened species. In streets we can see people thrashing animals mercilessly without any reason just for their entertainment. At present different international crime Syndicates are running their trade without any fear and earning millions of dollar by selling animal's skin, bones, ivory and many more parts.

It is not only a problem in India but it's an International evil so government is conducting joint operations with official machinery of the other country. So that the culprits of wildlife crime can be arrested and the government can stop illegal hunting and protect all the species.

The government is making many reforms so that they can easily cope up with this problem. But we need an honest, dedicated and independent body to curb this problem. Also we have to make aware people about different animal's right and the importance of these animals in our ecosystem.

References:

  • Francis S. Collins, Experiments on Animals: Overview , PETA(May.,16,2020,10:09PM)
  • https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-used-experimentation-factsheets/animalexperiments-overview/
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, producing Animals/Slaughtered 2013
  • Leather: Animals abused and killed for their skins , PETA(May.,16,2020,10:24PM)
  • Sharon Guynup, Illegal Tiger Trade :Why Tigers are walking gold, Cat Watch on February 12, 2014
  • The Wildlife Protection Act,1972
  • The prevention of cruelty to animal act, 1960
  • TBI BLOGS: 15 Animal Rights In India That Every Citizen Should Know, The Better India,( May 16,2020,11:11PM)
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House)Rules,2001,Section

Written By: Devjeet Gautam - Faculty of Law, University of Allahabad

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