"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its
animals are treated.
"- Mahatma Gandhi
Whether it's the man who kills the neighbour's cat, the hoarder of sick and
dying animals, or the family whose cold and starved dog is tied up outside in
the midst of the winter, animal cruelty incidents make headlines around the
world every day. Simple Neglect, Gross Neglect, Intentional Abuse, Animal
Hoarding, Organized Abuse, Ritualistic Abuse, or Animal Sexual Assault are a few
of the several types of animal cruelty.
Cruelty to animals cannot be neglected
because it has been demonstrated to have serious consequences, ranging from the
fact that it is linked to other crimes to the fact that these practices cause
immense anguish to animals who have no one to speak for them. Combating the
threat of animal cruelty is a journey that must be undertaken, and everyone,
including the government, NGOs, and even culture, has a significant role to
play. The Animal Protection Laws under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the
Indian Constitution are examined in this review.
Animal Cruelty is defined as the practice of treating animals with cruel,
violent, unethical, and depraved conduct, especially on a regular or recurrent
basis. Animal Cruelty is defined as subjecting animals to an environment in
which they are afraid, vulnerable, and terrorized. People believe that they have
a right to animals' lives and that they can treat them however they want.
Countless creatures are subjected to inhumanity, cruelty, and brutality daily.
Because animals are sentient beings capable of feeling love and devotion, it is
everyone's responsibility to look after their health and nutrition.
Animal Cruelty cases are on the rise, and the reasons for these killings remain
a mystery. People slaughter and mutilate animals for personal pleasure or
amusement. Animal Cruelty is all too common in India. Even though animals have
been revered and worshipped in India since the beginning of time, the fact that
innocent animals are subjected to brutality reflects the pathetic state of our
society, which is not only devoid of compassion but also the beginning of an era
in which humanity is on the verge of extinction.
According to a report released by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection
Organizations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS), 4,93,910 animals
were cruelly abused and became victims of human crime. This information pertains
to crimes that occurred between 2010 and 2020. However, only documented cases
were included in the collection, there are a plethora of unreported cases that
were never even discovered.
The FIAPO delivered the paper In Their Own Right -
Calling for Parity in Law for Animal Victims of Crime,
unprecedented documentation of human brutality and cruelty towards innocent
Rape, murder, stone pelting, kicking, attacking with sticks, poisoning, putting
them in a plastic bag, and smothering them to death are all crimes committed
against animals. These are a gruesome set of acts that animals are subjected to
daily at the hands of humans. This highlights the fact that, despite the
existence of laws, their faulty execution has diluted their deterrent effects,
and that something must be done as soon as possible to protect individuals who
are unable to stand up for themselves. That does not, however, diminish the fact
that our country has a plethora of animal-rights legislation.
In particular, the Constitution of India, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Act, 1960 (PCA Act), the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Wildlife Protection Act,
1972, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughterhouse) Rules, 2001, and
others, to name a few, have done little to protect the animals. Furthermore, the
Animal Welfare Board of India was founded under Section 4 of the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 with the primary aim of establishing and regulating
animal laws in India, proposing time-to-time modifications in animal laws, and
protecting animals from any form of cruelty.
Atrocities against Animals:
According to the FIAPO's assessment, all of the crimes perpetrated against the
animals were cruel and intentional acts of violence that resulted in the
animal's death or irreversible harm. A dog was raped with a screwdriver in Goa, a street dog was not only beaten but also attached to a bike and then
thrown off the second floor of a building in Ludhiana, and nursing students
poisoned sixteen puppies in Kolkata, according to the FIAPO. Furthermore, the
performance of such horrific deeds against innocent creatures continues
The report goes on to detail over 1000 cases of assault, including 82 cases of
sexual abuse, 266 cases of cold-blooded murders, and over 400 cases of
indiscriminate attacks such as throwing acid or boiling water, beating,
torturing, kicking, lacerating their body parts, assaulting them with a knife or
sharp glass, poisoning them, and gluing them with firecrackers and then bursting
such crackers, and burning the animals, alive.
This points to a variety of
methods for killing animals, including burying them alive, beating them to
death, injecting them with chemical doses, strangulating them with ropes and
barbed wires, suffocating, stoning, and leaving them to die with their limbs and
It should be noted that the report makes a frightening disclosure, stating that
it has recorded 20 occurrences of abuse by children, with 2019 being the year
with the largest number of animal atrocities. According to their information,
large culling drives were carried out across the country, resulting in the
deaths of around 4230 dogs.
According to the report's findings, street animals,
particularly stray dogs, make up a significant portion of the target of animal
maltreatment and mass culling. It is worth noting that these are only a few of
the cases that have been recorded or identified, nevertheless, the real
situation is far beyond the data available, as most cases go unreported.
The National Crime Records Bureau, which compiles an annual report on crimes
committed in India and also provides state and district-level data on murders,
thefts, assaults, sexual abuse and harassment of women and children, and violent
crimes, does not collect any information on animal cruelty crimes.
It is worth
noting that, according to Hindu mythology, animals like cows, elephants, tigers,
lions, bulls, snakes, and monkeys are worshiped alongside deities, nonetheless,
animals are treated inhumanely, highlighting the fact that the law has failed to
protect these animals' lives.
Types of Animal Abuse:
- Sexual Abuse (Bestiality):
Intercourse between a human and a non-human is referred to as bestiality
(animal). It generally refers to a human having sexual relations with an animal
in a demeaning manner. Animal rage instances are frequently in the news these
days, and they are typically horrific and distressing. It is no longer an
uncommon occurrence. A pregnant goat was gang-raped by eight males in Haryana,
in July 2018. In the same month, a 35-year-old man was arrested in Kolkata for
reportedly having sex with a female dog. A similar event occurred in Vadodara,
where a single man working as a worker raped three pregnant cows.
Such occurrences demonstrate that human beings have lost any sense of decency
and humanity. Animals do not have the same rights as humans, according to the
majority of people. Their lives are seen as unimportant. People must realize
that animals do not have the ability to communicate, making them more vulnerable
to injustice and brutality. 60% of women who have been victims of domestic
violence say their husbands have a history of killing or hurting animals. People
who perpetrate acts of cruelty on animals move on to humans as their next
target, according to criminology and psychology research.
- Physical Domestic Abuse
This is a form of animal abuse in which the brutality against the animals is
completely deliberate. The goal is to inflict serious harm, excruciating agony,
and emotional distress on the animal. Physical aggression produces an
environment in which animals feel oppressed, intimidated, and terrified. Some
people are unable to love and care for animals in the same way that they love
and care for people. Domestic violence can take numerous forms, including
beatings, stabbings, kicks, starvation, neglect, and burning.
If a man can beat,
hit, or damage his own wife, there's a good chance he'll do the same to his own
pet. In 2016, one of the most devastating events of this kind occurred. A
5-month-old dog was thrown off the roof of a medical student's terrace by the
student himself in Chennai, India. The dog survived, but it had numerous severe
and internal injuries.
- Organised Animal Abuse
Animal fighting, such as dog fighting, bullfighting, and cockfighting, is a form
of organized animal maltreatment that is primarily done for entertainment
purposes. It's a staged fight in which animals are trained to attack each other
in a violent and aggressive manner. In the end, animals either perish or suffer
Because such bouts are usually held underground, they are well hidden
from the authorities' gaze. The identification of such fights is a challenging
task due to their nature of secrecy. Animal fighting is prohibited in many
countries because it often involves gambling, money laundering, and drug
- Laboratory Testing and Product Experimentation
As difficult as it may be to believe, everything we wear, use, or carry is first
tested on animals.
Humans and animals are not the same things. Their bodies react to certain goods
in drastically different ways, which can be exceedingly damaging and
uncomfortable. Thousands of animals are exposed to merciless product testing
every year, with deadly medications and chemicals sprayed down their throats,
rubbed into their skin, and even dropped into their eyes.
They are in a lot of
pain, misery, discomfort, and suffering as a result of this. Animals are housed
in cramped cages that are gloomy and confined, and they are subjected to mental
and physical pain. As a result, a large number of animals perish screaming in
agony. Even though animal testing is not required for products that do not
require it, beauty and cosmetic corporations prefer to do it in order to uncover
any residual faults, adverse effects, or chemical reactions. Animal testing is
banned for the sale of any cosmetic or beauty product in Europe, Israel, and
- Simple Neglect and Animal Hoarding
Animal hoarding is defined as having an abnormally large number of pets. Animal
hoarders are animal enthusiasts who find it difficult to let go of their pets.
It is more of a mental illness that leads to people harming their animals. This
occurs because the pet owner finds it boring and difficult to care for so many
pets at once, so they leave them unattended and neglected for some time.
includes things like malnutrition, thirst, illness, infections, poor veterinary
treatment, long-term chaining in extreme temperatures, and so on. As a result,
animal abuse includes a lack of sufficient nourishment and welfare for the
Brief Analysis of Animal Abuse in India:
Laws Implemented for Animal Abuse:
- In Mumbai, 19,028 incidences of animal cruelty were registered over five
years (2011-2016). Despite this, not a single arrest has been made
- In August 2017, a man was arrested and charged with murdering a small
- In January 2018, a man in Vadodara allegedly raped three cows. A
complaint was filed under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which
describes deliberate and malicious acts committed with the aim to offend the
religious sentiments of any religious group.
- On May 18th, 2018, almost 100 dead dogs were discovered in a woodland
region in Kongara, Hyderabad.
- On July 29th, 2018, a pregnant goat was gang-raped by eight males in Gurgaon, Haryana, and was later pronounced dead.
Supreme Court on Animal Rights:
- In the Indian Penal Code, 1860
Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code provide that anybody who causes
harm, injury, death, poisoning, or maiming to animals or cattle with the intent
of harming, injuring, killing, poisoning, or maiming them will be punished by a
fine or imprisonment of up to 5 years or both. Sexual intercourse between a man
and an animal is a cognizable and non-bailable offense, according to Section
It's what is known as an atypical or unnatural offense. Whoever engages in
sexual intercourse with any man, woman, or animal in violation of the
natural order will face a life sentence or a sentence of up to ten years in
jail, as well as a fine
- In the Constitution of India, 1949
Agriculture and animal husbandry are discussed in Article 48. It gives the
government recommendations for organizing agriculture and animal husbandry using
new modern and scientific approaches rather than the old traditional ones. It
outlaws the practice of animal butchering and outlaws the slaughter of cows,
calves, milch, and draught cattle entirely. Article 48A deals with environmental
and wildlife conservation.
It instructs the government to maintain and improve
the environment, as well as safeguard and preserve the country's forests and
animals. The 11 fundamental duties established to the Constitution by the 42nd
Amendment Act of 1976 are outlined in Article 51A. Article 51A(g) states that it
is every citizen's highest obligation to safeguard and preserve the natural
environment, which includes wildlife, forests, lakes, and rivers, among other
things. It also stipulates that citizens must harbour feelings of compassion and
affection for animals.
Although the above-mentioned Constitutional provisions
are not immediately enforceable in a court of law, they can be interpreted by
bringing them within the scope of Article 21 of the Constitution, which is a
fundamental right with judicial enforcement. But regardless of the
Constitution's duties and mandates, India's animals suffer at the hands of
people in a cruel and inhumane manner.
In 1954, the Supreme Court held that animal sacrifices for religious purposes
are important to exercise one's religion and thus are protected by Article 25 of
the Indian Constitution, and went on to elucidate on this in its judgment
viz. Ratilal Panachand Gandhi and Others v. State of Bombay and Others
A religion is not merely an opinion, doctrine, or belief. It has its outward
expression in acts as well � Religious practices or performances of acts, in
pursuance of religious belief are as much a part of religion as faith or belief
in particular doctrines.
However, in Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin Sahib v. State of Bombay
, the SC
observed that: �there may be religious practices of sacrifice of human beings,
or sacrifice of animals in a way deleterious to the well-being of the community
at large. It is open to the State to intervene, by legislation, to restrict or
to regulate to the extent of completely stopping such deleterious practices.
Then, in 2014, the Supreme Court in the matter of Animal Welfare Board of India
v. Nagraja and Others handed down a major decision on animal abuse and held
Jalikattu as cruelty to Bulls and banned the same. The Supreme Court of India
ruled that animals, like humans, have the right to live with honour and dignity.
Animals have recently been declared legal people by the Punjab and Haryana High
Court. This is a positive development in Indian law. In his order, Justice Rajiv
Sharma observed while delivering the judgment:
All the animals have honour and
dignity. Every species[s] has an inherent right to live and is required to be
protected by law. The rights and privacy of animals are to be respected and
protected from unlawful attacks.
Significantly, the Court has concluded that the ambit of Article 21 of the
Constitution, which enshrines the Right to Life, includes animals as well in the
following words, Article 21 of the Constitution, while safeguarding the rights
of humans, protects life and the word life has been given an expanded definition
and any disturbance from the basic environment which includes all forms of life,
including animal life, which are necessary for human life, fall within the
meaning of Article 21 of the Constitution.
Although India has enacted a number of very detailed and explicit animal
protection regulations, they are frequently not fully executed. This is because
many concerned citizens and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) do not place a
high priority on following the legal path to achieve their goals. At the same
time, it is critical to recognize that India's current legislation is
insufficiently powerful and sensible to effect significant change.
Section 11 of
the PCAA's general anti-cruelty provisions can be made far more effective by
increasing the punishment and fine to some amount. Animals of all kinds,
including street animals, wild animals, and animals living in a variety of
habitats, can be safeguarded and preserved if the rules are made more stringent
Given the current situation, it is critical to remember that stringent rules
alone will not suffice to protect animals from cruelty, instead, steps should be
taken to instil values in youngsters such as kindness, morality, compassion,
empathy, and respect for animals.
In the case of Geeta Seshamani v. Union of India
, the Indian Supreme Court ruled
that each state establish a State Animal Welfare Board. States should follow the
directive and take action to preserve the lives of innocent animals while
punishing those who break it.
Every citizen should recognize that Animals, too,
have a Right to Life, and we should all work together with the federal and
state governments to make animal lives cruelty-free and to make the world a
better place for them.
Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Shyam Gaur
Authentication No: OT130038233057-27-1021
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