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Bruno: Just Another Victim of Human Cruelty

"Never believe that animals suffer less than humans. Pain is the same for them that it is for us. Even worse, because they cannot help themselves." - - Louis J. Camuti

What is Animal Cruelty?

Acts of violence perpetrated against helpless animals are considered animal cruelty. It is a punishable offence under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Why it is in News?

On June 28 (Monday), A black Labrador named Bruno was beaten to death by three people in Thiruvananthapuram. Later on Thursday, Kerala High Court has initiated suo motto proceeding against Sunil, a boat owner, and two other people for such brutal killing. The court renamed the case "Re: Bruno" as an attempt to offer a tribute to the dog that got succumb to the act of animal cruelty in the most disturbed manner. The reason behind this inhumane act was a spat between the owner and the accused. The Bench issued a slew of guidelines to "alleviate the misery" of animals and further explained the purpose behind this endeavour; to alert State executive and remind them their constitutional and statutory obligations. The bench will hear the matter again on 17 July.

Other Related Facts
According to the report published by Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS), almost 5 lakh animals have been hurt, maimed, killed, and even raped between 2010 and 2020. This report on violence against animals in India mentioned that1,000 assault cases has been recorded against the animals, 82 cases were of sexual abuse, 266 cases of cold-blooded murder, and 400+ cases of violent attacks against animals; by beating, throwing acid or boiling water, , torturing, maiming a part of the body, kicking, attacking with a knife or a blunt object. The Year 2019 has recorded the highest number of cases of crimes against animals (700 cases).

"Because they are animals, people tend to underplay the violence by calling it cruelty. But it's more than cruelty. It's physical abuse; it's psychological abuse; it's rape; it's murder. Severe crimes against animals must be treated as felony,"--Varda Mehrotra, executive director, FIAPO

Author's Opinion: Reference
We need more proposal, ideas, awareness campaign, schemes and amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 [POCA]. The Union Government should pass the amendment which proposes to increase fine against animal cruelty from ₹50 to 75,000 or "three times the cost of the animal" along with rigorous imprisonment up to five years'. These changes can at least help to address the problem of human cruelty and help in making sure it doesn't happen again.

Reference:
  • https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/in-re-bruno-kerala-high-court-renames-suo-motu-case-animal-cruelty-memory-of-dog-killed
  • https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/tribute-dog-killed-human-cruelty-kerala-high-court-renames-suo-moto-case-in-re-bruno-176741
  • https://theprint.in/judiciary/in-re-bruno-kerala-hc-pays-tribute-to-dog-beaten-to-death-renames-case-after-him/689028/
  • https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/when-anti-cruelty-laws-dont-protect-animals-and-only-harm-humans-7245350/#:~:text=The%20Union%20government%20has%20proposed,up%20to%20five%20years'%20imprisonment.

Written By: Arun Shekhar Jawla, 2nd year law student, pursuing my BA+LLB degree from Chandigarh University.

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