Humanity, as a concept, is really hard to define and so does it seem to follow it: resulting thereby in causing attacks on animals in an inhumane manner. It is certainly shocking to one’s conscience when the civilization has moved from one barbaric society to present-day civilized society and yet the civility of man seems to be moving backward. However, it would be unfair to say that humans develop irrational animosity towards wildlife because the wild animals devastate their lives by destroying their crops. Rather it is a vicious cycle whereby: humans, due to their various activities, have decreased the natural habitat of these animals and as a result of it, animals approach the human settlements and humans develop a harsh attitude towards such animals.
Indian Wildlife Protection Act –
According to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, enacted for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants, the act of hunting constitutes “capturing, killing, poisoning, snaring, or trapping any wild animal”. In fact, injuring, damaging or stealing body part of any animal also constitutes hunting. For wild birds and reptiles, “disturbing or damaging the eggs or nests” is tantamount to hunting. The amendment to the Act was enforced in January 2003 and punishment for offences was made more stringent.
A first-time offender, who hunts animals or alters the boundaries of any reserved forested area, is liable for a minimum fine of Rs. 10,000 and at least three years of rigorous imprisonment. For a repeat offence, the term of imprisonment may extend to seven years with a minimum fine of Rs. 25,000. With the insertion of a new section, 51 A, the process of securing a bail has become more difficult. According to this amendment, the accused won’t get a bail unless the court finds “reasonable grounds” to believe that the individual is not guilty.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960 –
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 was enacted with an objective of preventing infliction of unnecessary pain on animals. The Section 11 clearly elucidates that causing harm to any animal during transportation is a cognizable offence. Tying up cattle in overcrowded vehicles is illegal, according to this Act. In fact, injecting anything injurious and serving any poisonous food is also illegal. Any such violation of Section 11 invites a penalty of Rs. 100 and/or up to three months of imprisonment.
Indian Penal Code –
According to sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code, it is illegal to maim or injure any animal. Acts like throwing acid on cows, injuring street dogs and cats also invite punishment, which in a way serves as a caveat for many reckless drivers on the road. The Code also makes it illegal for cars to injure or kill dogs, cats and cows on the street. Offenders are either handed over to the local animal protection group or a police station. Further, a criminal case is filed against them. A minimum penalty of Rs. 2000 and/or up to five years of imprisonment is awarded to the guilty.
Animal Testing of Cosmetics Banned in India –
In 2014, India introduced a nationwide ban on animal testing cosmetics. The ban on animal testing makes it illegal to use chemicals on their skin or feed them lethal doses. Moreover, any medical or research institute cannot pick up stray animals from the street for the purpose of experimentation. To report cases of illegal animal testing, which causes ‘considerable suffering’ to animals, a national helpline has also been launched.
10 Animal Rights in India That Every Citizen Should Know –
- It is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures Article 51A (g).
- Abandoning any animal for any reason can land you in prison for up to three months. Section 4. No animal (including chickens) can be slaughtered in any place other than a slaughterhouse. Sick or pregnant animals shall not be slaughtered. Rule 3, of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Slaughterhouse) Rules, 2001 and Chapter 4, Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011.11(1) (i) and Section 11(1)(j), PCA Act, 1960.
- Stray dogs that have been operated for birth control cannot be captured or relocated by anybody including any authority. ABC Rules, 2001.
- Neglecting an animal by denying her sufficient food, water, shelter and exercise or by keeping him chained/confined for long hours is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to 3 months or both. Section 11(1) (h), PCA Act, 1960.
- Bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls are prohibited from being trained and used for entertainment purposes, either in circuses or streets. Section 22(ii), PCA Act, 1960.
- Animal sacrifice is illegal in every part of the country. Rule 3, Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001. 10. Organizing of or participating in or inciting any animal fight is a cognizable offence. Section 11(1)(m)(ii) and Section 11(1)(n), PCA Act, 1960.
- Cosmetics tested on animals and the import of cosmetics tested on animals is banned. Rules 148-C and 135-B of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
- Capturing, trapping, poisoning or baiting of any wild animal or even attempting to do so is punishable by law, with a fine of up to Rs. 25000 or imprisonment of up to seven years or both. Section 9, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Disturbing or destroying eggs or nests of birds and reptiles or chopping a tree having nests of such birds and reptiles or even attempting to do so constitutes to hunting and attracts a punishment of a fine of up to Rs. 25000, or imprisonment of up to seven years or both. Section 9, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Conveying or carrying animals whether in or upon any vehicle, in any manner or position which causes discomfort, pain or suffering is a punishable offence under two Central Acts. Section 11(1)(d) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Transport of Animal) Rules, 2001 and Motor Vehicles Act 1978.