Authors : Upasana Chopra, Student at Bennett University, Greater Noida & Nisarg Trivedi, Student at Bennett University, Greater Noida
This Paper deals with the inhuman behavior done with the animals in society and the problem they are facing in the present time. The paper also examines human behavior to that of animals, how the comparison is drawn, and the harsh side of the society faced by the animals. This study also focuses on the laws and legislations related to animals in our country and further mentions the drawbacks the existing laws contain because of which even today after the enactment of these laws, the situation of animals has still not improved.
Kind of torture faced by animals by not giving them food timely, beating or killing them, making them employed for the personal work of an individual, keeping or confining them in an area or a cage for the longer period, offering the animal for sale which cause them pain or sacrificing the animals for the sake of the religious purpose is some of the cruel acts faced by the animals in our society. Animals are forced to face this kind of human behavior because the existing laws do not provide the wrongdoers with strict punishment and due to this reason, they feel free to torture animals. Due to this existing condition of animals, the paper also suggests the ways and ideas by which government and individuals on their level can take steps to improve the existing condition of animals in our society.
It has been generally observed that people around us thrashing the animals on the street, they are treated very badly as if these animals have committed some form of offence by taking birth in society. Human beings do not want to include animals in the part of the society as people believe animals to be their enemy. People usually feel that by misbehaving with the animals, they are doing some proud thing, or this makes them cool. This does not make an individual cool but creates a feeling of shamefulness among them. Animals are felt excluded from Indian society. They are left on the streets and no one comes forward to take initiative for the welfare of the animals.
It is the behavior of human beings that has suddenly changed over the period towards the animals. If we will compare the present scenario of India will other well-developed nations, we will find many dissimilarities in the manner the people behave with the animals. Instead of giving warm welcome to animals, they are generally treated with rude behavior. The simple examples lie with the recent incident where the pregnant elephant in Kerala has died after she ate a pineapple containing firecrackers. In the village, the local framers kept the pineapple filled with firecrackers and the elephant passing by ate it, due to the pineapple filled with firecrackers exploded in the mouth of the elephant. The elephant had spent days in pain before dying. Another incident lies that in July 2018, where a pregnant goat was gang-raped by 8 men in Haryana. After proper investigation, the authorities concluded that one of the accused met the owner of the goat and he also admitted that he had raped the goat and further mentioned that he had a nice time with her.
It is usually observed that people throwing a stone at the street dogs, shooting the innocent birds away, and ignoring the harmless animals by leaving them to starvation and then to death. Companies illegally trying the products on animals, they are harmed and beaten up usually for entertainment in the zoo and amusement parks. Why such kind of behaviour is given to animals? Why animals are not treated as equal to the human being. instead of giving them unfriendly behavior, they should be treated with friendly behavior.
Animals are also living mammal. They also breathe as human beings do. Many scientists and the research bodies who have studied about animals have made a research that the animals can ‘think’ which means they recognize and react to their surroundings, they also have emotions of fear or anger, and they can also communicate with each other among their group but this thing has not certified as a language. Animals too produce signals and receive signals to communicate. They are aware in the same way as human beings are. If every minute thing is similar among both human beings and animals, then why animals are differentiated from the human environment.
On 31 May 2019, Punjab Haryana High Court through the case ‘Karnail Singh and others the V. State of Haryana’ mentioned that all the animals placed under the animal kingdom as considered as the legal entities of the government. People as a whole need to understand the simple thing that animals are not their enemy. The animals also have the same right to live in the Indian Society as human beings have. We, as individuals need to understand that without animals residing in our environment a balanced and proper ecosystem is impossible to maintain. Research done by scientists proves that animals residing reduce the possibility of bacteria entering the nutrients. For this reason, the government has made certain legislations and schemes for the betterment of the animals. The protection of animals can be made possible by making certain changes in the existing laws. To make this possible we need to understand the existing laws which would further help to fill the loopholes. So, to safeguard and protect animals and wildlife residing in the Indian environment, the Constitution of India has enacted some legislation.
EXISTING ANIMAL LAWS AND THEIR PUNISHMENT IN INDIA
when the framers of the Indian Constitution adopted the Constitution in 1950, the makers had not visualized the importance and need for natural environmental protection. This aspect of natural environment protection received attention in the later years and in the year 1976, the 42nd amendment of the Indian Constitution included the protection of wildlife and the forests in the Directive Principles of Indian Policy. It also incorporated forest and protection of wildlife animals in the Concurrent List, Schedule 7 (Article 256) of the Indian Constitution. So, to protect the rights of the animals and to protect them from the harsh behavior of human beings, the Constitution of India has framed some legislation. The Constitution of India to consider the welfare of the animals and wildlife have provided several sections which realistically tell the responsibility of the Indian citizens of the country to look after the welfare of the animals. The enforcement of these sections was for the welfare of the animals.
The protection of wildlife is now mentioned in Article 51(A)(g) of the Constitution. Article 51(A)(g) of the Indian Constitution states that “to protect and to improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for the living creatures”. This article simply states that it is a fundamental duty of every citizen residing in India to protect and improve our wildlife and forests and to show love and affection towards them. The Directive Principle of the State Policy, Article 48 (A) of the Indian Constitution states that “protection and improvement of environment and thus safeguarding the wildlife of the country”. It simply made it compulsory for the state to take certain steps and regulations to protect and improve the condition of wildlife and forests in our country.
In the case ‘State of Gujarat V. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab’ it was held that the main reason for making clause (g) under Article 51(A) of the Constitution and thus making it as a fundamental responsibility of every citizen is to protect our wildlife. While Article 48(A) talks about ‘environment’ but Article 51(A)(g) talks about the aspect of the ‘natural environment’ and the natural environment includes wildlife along with the forest. While Article 48 (A) mentions protecting and improvement in wildlife and forest whereas Article 51(A)(g) states showing love and affection toward these animals. Article 51(A)(g) talks about the wider aspect of Article 48(A) of the Indian Constitution. The court further held that both, the state and human beings are under the commitment to protect and to work for the improvement of the environment including wildlife and forest, and to have sympathy for these animals.
In the case ‘Sher Singh V. State of Himachal Pradesh’ the court concluded that the main objective of making remembering the citizens of their responsibility is to make sure that humans should protect and work towards the welfare of wildlife. And for this reason, Article 48 and Article 51(A)(g) of the Indian Constitution is also included under Environment Protection Act, 1986, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 with the basic reason was to protect the wildlife and forests. And for this reason, the Supreme Court of India has made the definition of Article 21 wider. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution States for the right to life and personal liberty. The term life as mentioned under Article 21 not only includes the life of human beings but also includes the life of wildlife and forest.
Also, in the case ‘W.B. & Others V. Sujit Kumar Rana’ it was held that Article 48 and Article 51(A)(g) of the Constitution were read together and the Court concluded that Directive Principle of State Policy and the Fundamental Duties as mentioned under these articles played an important role for the protection and the welfare of the wildlife and the environment. Also, Article 243(G) of the Indian Constitution under the eleventh schedule grants special rights and responsibilities to the Gram Panchayat to investigate the matter of animal husbandry, and poultry farming.
Apart from the laws made by the Constitution of India, the India Government has also framed several laws and legislations to protect and safeguard the animals. India’s first law passed to protect the animals was The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to prevent the animals from unnecessary pains and sufferings. The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is another law that bans the hunting and killing of wild animals and further prevents poaching, illegal trade, and smuggling among these animals. These law targets to make anti-cruelty provisions for the animals and this reason, subsequent laws have been enacted —
- It is a criminal offense to feed animals poisonous food and if a person doing so is caught, he is to be made liable under Section 11 of the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Section 11(1) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 states that keeping an animal without giving him with food and water is an offense and punishment includes the fine which should not be less than Rs. 10, but the fine can increase up to the amount of Rs. 50. And if the same offense is repeated within 3 years, the amount of fine should range between Rs. 25 to Rs. 100 along with imprisonment for the term period of 3 months or with both.
- Killing and torturing any animals is considered as a cognizable offense under Section 428 and Section 429 of Indian Penal Code and punishment for the same is imprisonment which may extend to the term period of 2 years or fine or both.
- Molesting, injuring, teasing, and beating any animals is banned as per Section 38(j) of wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and any person is caught doing such offense he shall be liable for imprisonment up to 3 years or with fine of 25000/- or both.
- Section 98 of Transport of Animals Rules, 1987, animals should be kept in good condition while transporting them from one place to another. Also, pregnant animals and younger ones should be taken in separate transport. The same has also been stated in the case of ‘Laxmi Narayan V. Union of India‘.
- No animals should be slaughtered at any place other than slaughterhouse according to Rule 3 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rules, 2001, and Chapter 4 of Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011. The same ruling has also made in the case of ‘Gauri Maulekhi V. Union of India’.
- Testing of cosmetics on animals is prohibited under Rules 148-C and 135-B of Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945.
- Also, Section 22(ii), PCA Act, 1960 banned animals like tigers, panthers, bulls from getting trained for the entertainment in the circus.
Keeping in the knowledge of the situation faced by the animals, the government enacted several acts like the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. This was not the only initiatives taken by the government, the government also launched various projects and schemes which have helped to protect the animals of the country. These are Project Tiger, considered as one of the best initiatives since 1972. Till now about 47 tiger reserves along with Ranthambore National Park and Corbett National Park; Project Elephant, enacted since 1992 with the motive of conserving elephants against unnatural death and poachers; and many more like Project Rhino, Crocodile Conservation Project.
Therefore, the framers of the Constitution and authorities have enacted these certain sections and legislation to protect our wildlife and our ecosystem. The main reason for the same was to protect the interest of the animals and their legal rights and to prevent poaching, illegal trade, and smuggling among these animals.
LOOPHOLES IN THE EXISTING LAWS AND CHANGES REQUIRED
The main objective of passing the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960, and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 was to protect and improve the conditions of the existing animals. But as per the research done by the authorities, they have concluded that the current data shows that the objective of safeguarding the animals has still not achieved even after the many years of the enactment of these acts. People usually believe that the laws enacted related to the welfare and improvement of the animals ignore the rights of the animals. And people made this presumption on their own that there is no violation of the law, so the owner generally tries to rule out over the animals.
The main drawback of the acts and legislation laid down by the government exists in it only because the animals cannot enter into the social contracts like human beings have and therefore they cannot have their rights and duties as other humans have. It is a common approach of people of the utilitarian tradition that animals are usually considered inferior as compared to other human beings so they can be used as a resource unless and until there are no sufferings and pains are given to the animals. And in case of any interest of the animals, they are generally overruled. Also, the various projects launched by the government like Project Tiger, Project Elephant are not working efficiently as even after the establishment of these projects recent death of the elephant had taken place in Kerala because of eating pineapple filled with firecrackers. The data shows that 2500 elephants were seized in 2011 to carry out the illegal business of ivory. Poaching also threatens around 3800 wild tigers.
It is generally observed that millions of animals generally the population of rabbits, monkeys, guinea pigs, white mice, and many more animals are used for testing and experimentation all around the world and because of these testing and experimenting by industries these animals have to suffer through a lot of pain and as a result of which they die. Using such animals for testing leads to cruel behavior towards them and their rights get violated. The laws state that animal testing for making cosmetic products and testing various medicines are banned across India under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (Second Amendment), 2014. And if any person is found doing such act, he/she shall be liable for the offense and shall be punished for imprisonment or with fine or both. The government has also prohibited dissecting and experimenting on animals in schools and colleges. But it is usually observed that even after making certain provisions to stop testing on animals, the procedure still exists by the companies like L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Clorox, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate Palmolive and many more. Although Colgate Palmolive has agreed to slowly change to their policy, it is not sure that the company will work without any cruelty towards animals in the future years. These companies usually manufacture the products by approving them on animals that are available at the general stores. Even after the prohibition of this kind of practice these industries are not making any sort of changes to adopt a new method finalizing their product before sending them to markets for sale. These industries are not ready to change their unethical practices. Today also animals still face harsh behavior of these testing industries.
In India, is the most common practice of sacrificing the animals at the time of religious festivals. In most the religion, to fulfill their religious practices, animals are sacrificed. In the case ‘Ramesh Sharma V. State of Himachal Pradesh and Others’, the High Court of Himachal Pradesh mentioned that by studying the animal laws, Section 11 and Section 28 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act are to be interpreted along with Article 48 and Article 51(A)(g) of the Indian Constitution. The court further mentioned that under Section 28 of the act if any animal is killed in a manner to fulfill the religious practice that thing will not be considered as an offense. Section 28 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 states that “it is not an offense to kill any animals in a manner required by the religion of any community. The practice of killing animals for religious purposes should be prohibited but however Apex Court has refused to entertain such petitions. Also, the Supreme Court in its ruling stated that sacrificing animals cannot be banned as it would ignore the old religious practices thus ignoring the rights of the animals.
In the other case ‘Animal Welfare Board of India V. a Nagaraja and Others‘, considered as the landmark judgment identifying the rights and dignity of the animals. The Supreme Court in 2014 has prohibited the practice of Jallikattu by stating that this action causes unnecessary pain to the animals. However, on the recent survey done on July 20, 2018, the AWBI noticed that animals are still sacrificed on Bali Paratha, Bakrid Festival, and many more. It was also observed that in shifting the animals to a different place they are not given a healthy environment. In the judgment of ‘Mohammad Hanif Qureshi and others V. State of Bihar‘ states that Article 25 of the Indian Constitution grants every person has a principle right to practice and propagate any religion and also mentioned that sacrifice of an animal on Bakrid is not an overact for Muslims and therefore no violation should be made of the rights of the Muslims. Even after the passing of the judgment in 2014, the data of 2018 shows that sacrifice of animals is still done for such religious practices.
The live examples can be taken from the incident that on 29 March 2018 in the city of Nagpur, several stray dogs were poisoned to kill them to death. The Police found the several bodies of stray dogs lying on the road of Mhada quarters in Kalama, Nagpur. On the release of reports, it was found that these stray dogs were poisoned to kill them by the local meat seller. The reason found was that these dogs would steal the meat from their shops. The other live examples state that on the date of 12 January 2018, around eleven monkeys were killed. The Police Officials found that these monkeys were killed nearby the National Highway-8, which was estimated to be around 66 km away from Jaipur, in Rajasthan. The local Police authorities stated that these monkeys were firstly beaten up by the stick to kill them, thereafter the killers put the chemical on them, maybe acid. Even after the enforcement of laws to prevent killing, beating, or giving poison to the animals. These creatures still must undergo through these circumstances.
The main reason people are still torturing the animals either their pet or these street animals is that the laws enacted by our Constitution and our government provide very little punishment. Because of this lesser punishment in the form of imprisonment or fine, people believe that they can easily afford this lesser amount, so they go on showing their rude behavior with the animals. For Example – Section 11(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 states that treating animals with cruelty either in the form of beating them, torturing them, employ them for labor or confine them in a particular place which does not have a healthy and airy environment, promotes them to take part any competition is strictly prohibited. If a person is found doing such activities, then he shall be held liable for the fine which should not be less than Rs. 10, but the fine can increase up to the amount of Rs. 50. And if the same offense is repeated within 3 years, the amount of fine should range between Rs. 25 to Rs. 100 along with imprisonment for the term period of 3 months or with both.
Hence, the above example cited states that punishment in the form of fine includes only a minimum amount of Rs. 10 and the maximum amount of Rs. 100. Since, the term Punishment means an imposing penalty which can be either in the form of imprisonment or fine, to change an individual or group of individuals so that he/ she does not repeat that particular kind of activity in the nearby future. The amount laid by the makers of the act is very less and every individual can easily afford this amount including the child and because of this reason, people commit more crime on animals. In the case of ‘Allen V. Municipality of Anchorage’, where 180 to 200 cats, 3 dogs, 13 birds, 3 chickens were kept in torturing condition. The court mentioned that the punishment given to Allen was of 30 days jail period. Human beings are not afraid of any laws or any legal proceeding against them because they are very well versed that in case, they must deal with the laws related to animals they can easily deal with them. They do not have any fear of the existing laws. People instead of changing their behavior towards animals, people usually believe that this small amount can be easily affordable by them next time also and in the coming years too. This is the main reason why still today some people deal with the illegal trade of animals in the form of poaching, and smuggling.
To overcome these existing loopholes, there is a strong need for changes in the existing laws and the legislatures and the officials should need to frame the new laws as per the needs of the society.
Hence, it can be concluded that the laws made by the framers of the Constitution and the government authorities are not up to date. These laws contain loopholes because of which animals still today facing the rude behavior of society. Even today animals are facing the harsh side of humans. People usually considered animals inferior to them and because of this mindset of the society, animals are ill-treated by humans in many ways either in the form of torturing them by not giving them food on time or by killing them. So, to change the present condition of animals in India, our legislative authorities need to make strict laws and regulations. The government on their level should make news and strict laws to safeguard the interest of the animals. The laws made should do compliance with all the provisions which are necessary for the protection of the rights of the animals.
The protection of animals is considered a necessary step to identify the relevance of nature. It has been observed that most of the animals on earth getting extinct because of the failure of proper attention. So, it is important to protect our endangered species by showing friendly behavior towards them. The killing of animals has become the main issue that the country is facing which further leads to the disturbance in the food chain and disturbs our ecosystem. For example- the skin of a snake is sold at the high prices in the market and easily helps in earning money. Therefore, killing snakes for the sake of earning money, disrupts the food chain, and causes harm to animals. It is generally seen that snake eats rats, mice which destroy the crop, and thus it helps the farmer. Therefore, it should consider as our main priority to save our ecosystem, and to save its government need to make certain changes in the laws and individuals should also take the steps to save our animals.
The government should on their level make several provisions. New laws should be enacted by the government and the existing laws should be revised accordingly. The laws should deal strictly with the people who are going against the life of animals and should not remain only on the paper. The government should open more National Parks and Sanctuaries for the protection of the animals and regular surveys should be conducted by the government. This will help the government to keep the proper knowledge of the counting of the animals and can give special attention to the endangered animals. The government can also arrange the breeding programs for the endangered species. This method will help to protect them from getting extinct.
Also, it has been observed that for a long time the laws enacted by the authorities have not been revised. In today’s date also it contains the same provisions and the punishments as it contained at the time when it was enacted. The existing laws provide very less punishment to punish the people doing crimes against the animals. Under Section 11(1) of the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act, 1960, punishment in the form of imprisonment is 3 months and fine is Rs. 50 only. Because of this lesser punishment people usually believe that this small amount is easily affordable, so they continue doing crime against the animals. So, to stop the crime against wildlife, the existing laws should be revised, and the punishment mentioned in these laws should be increased. The increase in the punishment will create fear in the mind of people and to some extent, this form of crime can be stopped. Also, the laws made should be strictly enforceable, and not it should remain on the paper only.
Apart from the government, human being on their level should also protect the animals. Humans should stand up for the animals wherever they see that animals are being tortured or sacrificed. The voice of society matters too. People should show friendly behavior towards animals. They should protect the animals by the way of adopting them. Another way through which people can protect the animals is by protecting their environment in which they live. By participating in the local cleaning programs, they can help to protect the habitat of animals. People should also support the state and government to avoid inhuman traps to catch animals. The individual on their level should act as an educated customer. They should avoid purchasing the products made from animals. Due to less sale of products in the market, trafficking of animals can be stopped, and lesser numbers of animals will be killed and sacrificed. People instead of buying animal products they should go for sustainable and recyclable products.
Therefore, with the help of both the government officials and the people, the situation of animals as prevailing today can be improved in India, and hence our wildlife can be conserved.
 Karnail Singh and others V. State of Haryana, CRR-533-2013, High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh
 State of Gujarat V. Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab, 26 October 2005, Appeal (civil) 4937-4940 of 1998
 Sher Singh V. State of Himachal Pradesh, 6 February 2014 APPLICATION NO. 237 (THC)/2013
 W.B. & Others V. Sujit Kumar Rana, (2004) 4 SCC 129
Laxmi Narayan V. Union of India, (2014) 1 SCC 612
 Gauri Maulekhi V. Union of India, WP(C) 881/2014
 Ramesh Sharma V. State of Himachal Pradesh and Others, CWP NO. 9257 of 2011
 Animal Welfare Board of India V. a Nagaraja and Others, (2014) 7 SCC 547
 Mohammad Hanif Qureshi and others V. State of Bihar, AIR 1958 SC 731
 Allen V. Municipality of Anchorage, 168 P.3d 890 (Alaska App., 2007)