Animal Rights in India

We all have a soft corner for animals in our heart. But there are people in this world who find it cool or they get satisfaction by beating, starving or teasing the innocent animals and birds. Many of such people upload such cruelty on various social media platforms as well. This is something that should be taken into great concern.

In this article we will have a look at various Animal Protection Regulations in Indian Laws.

The Indian Constitution

  • Article 51A(G): It makes the protection of wildlife and compassion for all living creatures a fundamental duty of every citizen of India.
  • Article 48: The State has a duty to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern, scientific lines and to take steps to preserve and improve breeds, prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other dairy and draught cattle.
  • Article 48A: It stipulates that the State also has an obligation to protect, secure and improve the country’s forests and wildlife.
  • List II (State List), VII Schedule: The State has the power and authority to protecting, preserving and enhancing stocks and eliminating animal diseases, and promoting veterinary training and practice.
  • List III (Concurrent List): both the Center and the State have the authority and power to prevent animal cruelty (17) and Protect birds and animals (17B).[1]
  • Article 243: The institutions of the Panchayati Raj have the obligation and authority to deal with matters concerning animal husbandry, dairy, and poultry, fisheries.

 

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960[2]

  • Section 11 (Street Animals): any animal subject to excessive pain and suffering will be liable to pay a fine of up to 50 Rs if any person allows or himself to beat, kick or abuse in any way. If the offense is repeated, the fine will increase, or a 3-month imprisonment will be granted.
  • Section 11(b,d,e,j,k) (Cattles): Anyone who hires any unhealthy animal to operate, suffering from wound, infirmity, sores or an old-age animal; Whoever carries any animal that is subject to pain or suffering; Keeps an animal in a cage or any other such containment that is not large enough to allow the animal to move freely; Any owner of an animal who permits death in any street for his animal, infected with a contagious or infectious disease; Anyone offering an animal for sale that suffers from mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or ill-treatment pain will be punishable by fine up to Rs. 25-100 and a maximum of three months of imprisonment on repetition of the said acts.
  • Section 11(o) (Birds): provides for punishment of any person who encourages or participates in any shooting match / competition where animals are released for shooting from the captivity.
  • Section 11(h,I,j) (Pets): Every person who is the owner of an animal, chains a dog carelessly or deliberately in close confinement; Any owner who fails to provide enough food , drink or shelter for his animal; Any person who, in such a situation where the animal is expected to suffer from hunger or thirst, leaves an animal without good cause; Any owner of an animal who knowingly allows an infected, diseased or disabled animal to go into any street without any permission or leave the animal in any street to die; will be punishable for fine up to 100Rs and three months imprisonment in case of repetition of the offence.
  • Section 26 (Performing Animals): any person who uses any animal for the purposes of entertainment/performance will be punished with a fine of up to Rs 500 or with an imprisonment of up to three months or with both.
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The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972[3]

  • Section 9 (Animals): of the Act forbids the hunting of any wild animal (animals mentioned in Schedules 1, 2, 3 and 4) and punishes the offender with imprisonment for a period of up to 3 years or with a fine of up to Rs. 25,000/-or both.
  • Section 48A: of the Act forbids the transport of any wild animal, bird or plant, except with the permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden or any other official allowed by the Government of the State.
  • Section 49: forbids dealers from purchasing wild animals without permission.
  • Schedule 1-4 (Aquatic Animals): of the Wildlife Protection Act includes a list of all protected marine species, such as seahorse, giant grouper, hermatypical corals, organ pipe, coral fire, sea fans etc.
  • Schedule III and IV: covers sponges of all types and contains a large range of mollusks.
  • Dolphins have been recognised as India’s national aquatic animal and are classified in Schedule I. India has banned the use of dolphins for commercial entertainment, thereby imposing a moratorium on any ‘dolphinarium’ being built in the country.
  • Section 38H (Zoo Animals): No zoo is allowed to operate in India without Central Zoo Authority approval.

 

Indian Penal Code, 1860[4]

  • Section 428: of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the killing, maiming, poisoning or rendering of any animal useless is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, or with fine or both.
  • Section 429: of the Code, the duration is 5 years, which is valid if the animal’s cost reaches 50 Rs.

 

How to Report?[5]

  • Sending a Legal Notice: You can either yourself send a legal notice via an attorney to the individual / group of animal abusers, or report the matter to an NGO that will do it for you. In case the offender will not take any action even after the notice has been issued, you may file an official complaint.
  • Arrest by an individual: Wildlife Protection Act offences are non-bailable and cognizable offences. Under Section 43 of the CrPC, an individual can arrest and hand him/her over to the police an offender who has committed a non-bailable and cognizable offense or is a common offender.
  • Getting a Wildlife Case Filed: One should contact a forest official, who may file a report with the magistrate further. The following individuals may lodge a complaint with the magistrate according to section 55 of the WLPA:
    1. The Director of Wildlife Preservation or any other officer approved by the Central Government, members of the Central Zoo Authority or member-secretary of the Tiger Conservation Authority, director of the Tiger Reserve concerned, on his behalf.
    2. Chief wildlife Warden
    3. Any person who has given a notice of at least sixty days to another person / group, of his intention to make a complaint.
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[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concurrent_List

[2]https://indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/11237/1/the_prevention_of_cruelty_to_animals_act%2C_1960.pdf

[3] http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1972-53_0.pdf

[4] https://www.iitk.ac.in/wc/data/IPC_186045.pdf

[5] https://blog.ipleaders.in/animal-protection-laws-in-india/

Author: Bahaar,
Amity Law School, Noida 3rd Year student

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