India, the seventh largest country in the world, is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world containing four of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots. It is home to animals ranging from the Bengal Tigers to the Great Indian Rhinoceros and animal protection and welfare in in the country has taken a prominent position over the recent years.
But the recent cases of animal cruelty like killing of a pregnant elephant from Kerala, a pregnant cow from Himachal Pradesh, and a jackal from Tamil Nadu has raised some serious questions about our progress as human beings and as a country. The alarming rise in these cases also questions the sufficiency of various laws that we have in our country.
We have all seen the barbarity that animals have been facing for a very long time even though there is a strong body of legal authorities present to secure the animals from cruelty and no one even considers that these actions can affect them as well.
We are living in a space where we grew up having animals as a meal, clothes in form of leather, wool, or silk, watching circus where animals are not treated as they should be treated, zoos where they have been enclosed and captured for do not know how many years for our entertainment.
There are pet shops where birds, dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. are kept in cages for business purposes. Individuals have been caught for animal cruelty and legal charges have been imposed on them under sections provided for animal protection.
There have been several provisions and enactments provided under various statutes for the protection of animals from cruelty and safeguarding their species and habitats as they have faced brutality for centuries and their rights have been a debatable topic everywhere whether it is India or anywhere across the world.
- he Indian Penal Code, 1860, and another statute like Local Municipal Corporations provide punishments for animal killing or slaughtering.
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 was enacted to prevent the infliction of pain or suffering on animals that is unnecessary
- The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 for the protection of wildlife to ensure ecological security by laying down the restriction on hunting.
- The Transport of Animals Rules, 1978, provides animals to be transported when they are in fit condition and not otherwise.
- The Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 provides certain laws for sterilization of the animals.
- The Constitution of India provides one of the Directive Principles of State Policy under Article 48 provides agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and further directs the state to ban the consumption of beef, animal slaughtering, smuggling, or trading with other countries.
- Article 51A(g) of the Constitution provides the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures.
- Out of all of these, The Prevention of Cruelty towards Animals Act, 1960 being momentous deals with animal cruelty in India.
However, the provisions provided under the Indian statutes are not effective the way they should be. People have continued the brutality towards the animals even after the acts have been imposed on them.
The punishments and fines prescribed under these acts are non-authoritative and ineffective as people are not even scared before committing the crime of animal cruelty.
For example, certain sections prescribe the fine of only Rs.50 and that shall not be enough to justify the abhorrent crime of cruelty on animals.
We as a country are undoubtedly progressing but there is still a long way to go. Animal Cruelty prevention laws is one such area where we need to focus more. But government alone can’t do everything. We as citizens have to start taking responsibility. We should stop pointing fingers at others and start changing ourselves. Remember, Change begins from within. Respect animals. Laws are there just better execution, amendments and moreover, honestly following these laws can change everything. Be more compassionate and sensitive towards the lives around you. The least we can do is not sit quiet. So, I demand all of us to please, please RAISE OUR VOICES.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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