Just as human beings, animals have also some rights. As per the principles of natural justice, every living being has the right to live on this earth. But humans very often behave very insensitively and inhumane towards animals. So various laws have been made in almost all the countries for the protection of animals. These are made to serve them justice and to protect their right to life. The very first legislation for the protection of animals was made in America called the ‘Martins Act’ in 1822 majorly for the protection of cattle and horses. After that, in 1824 the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was established. Currently, the most popular organization that works for animal rights is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
So the major Act for the protection of Animals in India is The Prevention of cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the major provisions prescribed in it are given below:
Cruelty to Animals is a Punishable Offence
As per the rules if any person indulges in cruelty to animals in the form prescribed under section 11(a) to 11(o), then he will be charged with a fine of 50 rupees. If that person again indulges in the same kind of conduct then he can be charged with a 55 to 100 rupees fine along with the imprisonment of three months.
What leads to cruelty?
Section 11 (1) (a) to (o) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 prescribes the acts which can be included in cruelty to animals. This includes:
- Beating, Kicking, Over-riding, Over-driving, Over-loading the animals
- Torturing, Causing unnecessary pain or suffering to any animals
- Employing any animal for work or labour or for any purpose for which it is unfit to be so
- Wilfully and unreasonably administers any injurious drug or medicine to the animal.
- Conveying or carrying any animal in or upon any vehicle in such a manner as it may cause unreasonable pain or suffering
- Keeping any animal in any cage not having sufficiently in height, length, and breadth to permit the animal a reasonable opportunity for movement.
- Keeping an animal for an unreasonable time in chains or heavy chords.
- Negligence of the owner to exercise or cause to be exercised to an animal confined in a place.
- Being an owner of an animal fails to provide with sufficient food, drink, and shelter
- If the owner abandons any animal in circumstances without reasonable cause
- In case the owner Wilfully permits any animal to go at large in any street when it is affected with a contagious disease, or without reasonable Excuse permits any diseased animal to die in any Street
- Offers an animal for sale or without reasonable cause has in his possession any animal which is suffering from pain due to mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding or other ill Treatment
- Mutilates or kills any animal by using a method like Strychnine injections in the heart or any other unnecessarily cruel manner
- For entertainment confining any animal to make it prey for any other animal or incites any animal to fight or bait any other animal.
- Organizes, keeps, uses, or acts in the working of any place used for animal fighting or for baiting any animal or permits any place to be so used, etc.
- Promoting or taking part in any shooting match or competition where animals are released from captivity for such shooting.
Stealing of Animals
As per section 378 of the Indian Penal Code, theft includes intentionally taking someone’s property out of the possession of that person and without his consent leads to theft. And this definition also takes into consideration the animals. So the punishment for that is Imprisonment up to three years or a fine of both.
The consequence of oxytocin injections given to milk animals to induce milk
Section 12 of the same makes it illegal to give oxytocin injection to milk animals to induce milk. It is a cognizable offense and the offender can be charged with a fine up to one thousand rupees or imprisonment up to two years or both. Also, the shop owner that sells the drugs can be charged with the cancellation of the license.
Rules Regarding Exhibition and Training of Animals
As per Section 22 of the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act, one cannot do the exhibition and training of animals unless and otherwise, he had registered the same under the provisions of this act. Also, the central government has banned the exhibition and training of some animals which includes – bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, and lions. Also, section 23 of the same act gives the procedure for registration about Training and exhibition on animals.
These are some of the important provisions and laws for animal protection and preservation. There are many other provisions given in the act for the protection and safety of animals.