INTRODUCTION: Since 1960, India has implemented a number of animal welfare regulations, with numerous religious traditions supporting nonviolence and compassion for animals. India is also a major producer of animal goods around the world. The Indian Constitution recognizes animal welfare as a fundamental duty, and as a result, there are various animal welfare laws in India, including national and state-level legislation, there is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, as well as state-level livestock protection and ban legislation.
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 covers all aspects of criminal law. Sections 428 and 429 of the IPC make all acts of cruelty, such as murder, poisoning, maiming, or rendering animals useless, punishable. The rules described above were adopted to protect animals from unnecessary pain and suffering, and similar laws are continuously being enacted as conditions change. Animals are additionally protected by generic notions such as tort law, constitutional law, and so on, in addition to specific legislation.
According to the Indian Constitution of 1960, it is the duty of every citizen of India to safeguard and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and have compassion for all living creatures. This Constitutional duty of animal protection is supported by the Directive Principle of State Policy under Article 48A-
‘The state would work to maintain and improve the environment, as well as the country’s forests and wildlife.’
The 42nd amendment to the Constitution was enacted in 1976, and it included these clauses. They establish the framework for legislation, policy, and governmental directives in support of animal protection at the federal and state levels, despite the fact that they are not directly enforceable in the courts.
ANIMALS USED FOR FOOD: Animal protection in India is governed by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960. It is forbidden for ‘any person [to treat] any animal in such a way as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes, or being the owner authorizes, any animal to be thus handled,’ according to Provision 11, and such maltreatment is punishable by fines or prison sentences.
Despite most of the country’s regulations against killing and eating cows, India became the world’s top beef exporter in 2012. According to a 2007 assessment by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Indians consume the least amount of meat of any country. Around one-third of Indians are vegetarians (the world’s highest ratio), yet only a few are vegans. Despite having the world’s highest vegetarian percentage, Indian consumption of dairy, eggs, and meat – particularly chicken – was fast expanding as of 2013.
ANIMALS USED FOR CLOTHING: In 2017, India banned the importing of some animal furs and skins, including chinchilla, mink, fox, and reptiles, due to increased concern for animal welfare.
According to a 2014 assessment on the Indian leather industry, India is the ninth-largest exporter of leather and leather products, as well as the second-largest producer of footwear and leather apparel, with a lot of space for expansion.
ANIMALS USED IN RELIGION AND ENTERTAINMENT: The traditional bullfighting sport of Jallikattu, which was mostly performed in Tamil Nadu, was banned by the Supreme Court of India in 2014.
CONCLUSION: The penalties for cruelty to animals under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 are merely insufficient to prevent crimes against animals. Due to the lenient enforceability of law, many provisions for liability are avoided. Significant changes are required to provide India with a stronger animal protection law.
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