This planet is not the property of human beings and every creature on this planet has equal rights to live peacefully without the interference of other creatures into their life. The lives of animals are equally valuable as ours and we have no right to take their lives for our enjoyment or requirement. Many times we are told not to act like animals, if someone acts violently, he/she is said to be acting like animals whereas animals are not the ones who killed most humans, humans are the ones who have killed most humans. Similarly, humans have destroyed many ecosystems, not any animal, humans have made other species go extinct, and not animals. Therefore, it is said that the most dangerous animal on earth is Human.
ILL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
- Leather Industry – Billions of animals are slaughtered every year by the global leather industry. Animals like snakes, alligators, crocodiles, kangaroos, zebras, bison, elephants, tigers, and lions are killed just for their skin. Various luxury products like leather belts, jackets, bags are made from animal skin, and to get the skin of animals, animals have to go under very very painful processes which end up mostly in killing them.
- Dairy Industry – Many animals are exploited in dairy farms, dairy owners keep them in miserable conditions and give food to them till they provide milk and when they stop producing the required products, they are killed for their skin and meat. In these farms, animals are given artificial nutrients and chemicals so that they grow up fast and give increased quantities of milk. These chemicals have bad effects on the health of animals and the products produced from such animals are not healthy and have adverse effects on human health.
- Sea Life – Fishes and other creatures that live in oceans and other water bodies get swept up in nets and are sold in markets. Large sea creatures get stabbed or assaulted in different ways, some may survive the assault but slowly succumb to the injuries.
- Animal Fighting – Many animals like dogs, bulls, etc. are thrown into pits to fight among each other. It is one of the most horrific aspects of animal cruelty. The result of these pit fights ends up in the death of one animal.
The pain that animals feel cannot be calculated because they cannot speak but what we know is that they can feel and go through unbearable pain. Apart from the above-discussed instances, there are various other types of cruelty that are practiced on animals and most of them are illegal.
LAWS MADE TO SAFEGUARD ANIMALS
- Article 51A (g) of the Indian Constitution – It is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures.
- Section 11(i) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 – Under this section abandoning an animal and leaving it in a situation that it is suffering through pain, thirst or starvation, is a punishable offense. Evidently, it can be seen that fine or imprisonment isn’t strict enough to prevent people from harming anyone.
- Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code – Under these sections of IPC killing, poisoning, or torturing an animal is a cognizable offense and the punishment for such act is 2 years of imprisonment or fine.
- Animal Birth Control Rules, 2001 – No sterilized dogs can be relocated from the area, basically, if any dog is not sterilized the society can ask the animal welfare authorities to sterilize and vaccinate them but cannot relocate them.
- Keeping any animal confined in an area or chained for long hours will amount to animal cruelty and can be punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
- The Local Municipal Corporation Acts, 1882, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Indian Penal Code (IPC) – Under these laws, slaughtering of animals at places like temple, streets, basically places, where they do not have a license to do so, is a punishable offense.
- Section 38(j) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 – This Act prohibits teasing, molesting, injuring, feeding, or causing disturbance to animals.
Many of the people must haven’t adhered to the laws listed above for the protection of animals and there are plenty more laws made for the protection of animals which most of the people would not know but the implementation of these laws are also similar to the knowledge of people about animal protection law.
NGOs IN INDIA WORKING FOR ANIMAL WELFARE
- Animal Aid Unlimited – It was started in 2002, it is a rescue center dedicated in treating ill or injured stray animals and has rescued over 65000 animals to date.
- People For Animals – India’s largest animal welfare organization with a nationwide network of 26 hospitals, PFA works to rehabilitate and rescue sick and needy animals
- Wildlife SOS India – Established in 1995, the organization works towards protecting the Indian wildlife and protecting the natural habitats for animals.
- Red Paws Rescue – Originally started as an initiative by a 17 yrs old girl which aims to provide ethical treatment to the animals who get abandoned by their owners or any stray dogs.
- Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre (SGACC) – Founded in 1980, SGACC is India’s and Asia’s largest shelter, and home to over 3000 plus animals. This group basically aims to rescue, treat, and rehabilitate animals in need and a 24×7 ambulance is available for any emergency for animal treatment.
These were some of the Indian agencies working towards the welfare of animals. Still, after having so many laws and NGOs protecting animals and working towards the welfare of animals, India is still failing to protect animals. Strict measures need to be taken and the implementation of the already laid down laws needs to be implemented in a better and strict way.
- Spreading Awareness – The importance of spreading knowledge about animal rights and making people understand that animals too have emotions and don’t act or let anyone act cruel towards animals and if they see anyone acting cruelly should report them to the authorities and not just witness it happening.
- Better Punishments are given under Laws – The laws at present for the protection of animals cover almost every aspect of animal protection but the punishment that’ll be given under those laws aren’t that strict to make people prevent from hurting animals. The punishment should be increased to have an effective deterrence for such persons.
- Better Implementation of Laws – The laws made for the protection of animals are just made but the implementation of those laws are really bad because the cases of cruelty on animals are increasing year by year and many of the cases aren’t even reported. It should be made sure that if any of the law for animal protection is violated, strict action should be taken against the offender.
Measures that can be taken on a Personal Level for the betterment of animals include:
- Veganism – Becoming vegan is the starting point and the least that a person can do for animal welfare because animals here are not for our use and being vegan means being against animal cruelty.
- Get involved with Animal Right Groups – Connecting with these groups gives you an opportunity to learn about what is going on in your community, area, etc. about animal cruelty and for their welfare and how can you contribute.
- Protest – Usually people are not comfortable taking part in protests seeing that people get arrested even for protesting legally within the law, it is not necessary to take part in civil protest, you can take a stand on social media, spread awareness among people, etc.
Humans are now responsible for causing the changes in the environment that hurts animals, as we take up more space on Earth for our homes, industries, etc we are polluting more habitats and making it difficult for animals to survive.
It is high time people need to understand that animals are not their property, they have the equal right to live and equal right on earth, we are no one to use them for our own purpose. Even the lives of human beings are dependent on the lives of animals, for example, our lives depend on honey bees as they pollinate the majority of the world’s plant species and without honeybees, some of our plant food sources could become extinct. The above-given suggestions need to be considered to say that the rights of animals should be present in reality and are not a myth.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.
 https://sentientmedia.org/animal-cruelty/ (last visited on 26/09/2020).
 https://www.animalaidunlimited.org/ (last visited on 26/09/2020).
 https://www.peopleforanimalsindia.org/ (last visited on 27/09/2020).
 https://wildlifesos.org/ (last visited on 29/09/2020).
https://www.redpawsrescue.com/ (last visited on 29/09/2020).
http://sanjaygandhianimalcarecentre.org/contact-us.html (last visited on 02/10/2020).
https://www.happycow.net/blog/top-10-suggestions-for-being-an-effective-animal-rights-activist/ (last visited on 02/10/2020).
BY KASHISH DHAWAN | VIVEKANANDA INSTITUTE OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES , GGSIPU