AUTHOR- Rohan Kumar Singh, Asian Law College
Animal abuse refers to cruelty against any non-human when our action or negligence result in harm on any animal. Laws are there in our society to protect the lives of people similarly there are laws for protection of animals and to safeguard their lives and livelihood.
The wildlife protection act, 1972 is there in our country under which wildlife are protected. This act was enacted on 9th September 1972. Under this act wild animals, birds and plants everyone is included. Earlier it was extended to whole India except Jammu and Kashmir but after the new amendment now this act is extended to Jammu and Kashmir also.
Recently there have been namouras cases which talks about animal cruelty and shows how people are mistreating animals.
The wildlife protection act came into existence on 9th September 1972. This act has 6 schedules which gives varying degree for protection of wildlife. Before the introduction of this act there use to be only 5 national parks in India. As per 2012, India today has 102 national parks and 166 more have been authorized.
Definition of some terms used under this act: -
a) Animals – it includes amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.
b) Animal article – the articles made from any captive or wild animals.
c) Hunting – it includes killing, capturing, poisoning, trapping, injuring animals, birds and reptile.
d) Trophy – it means whole or any part of captive or wild animals which has been kept or preserve by any means.
e) Wildlife – it includes any animals, bees, butterflies, crustacean, fish and moth; and aquatic or land vegetation which form part of any habitat.
Authorities appointed under this act:
1) The center government may appoint-
a) A director of wildlife preservation.
b) Assistant director of wildlife preservation.
c) Other officers and employees as may be necessary.
2) The State government may appoint-
a) A chief wildlife warden.
b) Wide life wardens (one honorary warden in each degree)
c) Other officers and employee as may be necessary.
WILDLIFE ADVISORY BOARD-
The act enforces and enables the state governments and the administrators of the union territories to constitute a wildlife advisory board in each state and union territory.
The board advises the state government in the following matters:
a) Areas to be declared as sanctuaries, national parks or closed areas and their administration.
b) Formulation of policy for protection and conservation of wildlife.
c) Amendment of any schedule.
d) Harmonizing the need of tribals and dwellers of forest.
e) Any other matter referred by the state government.
Now that we have covered introduction and origin of wildlife protection and about how the laws are divided and what all comes under the definition of wildlife.
As we have discussed the terms use under this act like hunting, trophy, pouching etc. all these are one of the basic reasons for the need of this act in our country.
Under the wildlife protecting act hunting of animal’s species are prohibited under schedule 1,2,3 and 4.
This act also talks about when it is justified to kill an animal i.e.
1) When animal become dangerous to human life.
2) In good faith if animal is wounded.
3) Killing in defense of our self or other person.
Protection of plants:
Plants also come under this act and their protection are also secured under this act. Under this act no person shall willfully pick, uproot, damage, destroyed, acquire, or collect any specified plants from any forest land and any specified area by central government.
Member of scheduled tribe residing in that district are not prevented if it is for their personal use. Dealing with specific plants without license is prohibited.
As we have read about people hunting animals for there body part and trophy and other animal-based products which include hurting or killing of animals. This act is formed to secure and regulate all these activities and protect animal life.
Stray dog eyes burned by policeman:
A stray dog and its sympathiser are desperate for help by the authorities following repeated instances of physical abuse by a watchman in Gujarat's Rajkot. The woman’s repeated plea to cops, to protect the stray have reportedly been falling on deaf ears. Since the lockdown, an unused common area in the woman’s society has found itself again useful to the residents. The pack of stray dogs that used to inhabit the area have since lost their home. However, there is one stray that keeps returning and the society’s watch man has beaten the dog several times to make it run away, in the process the animal has lost sight in one eye. The woman demands that the cops send a PCR van to the society, to educate members and management that cruelty towards animals is an offence under the law.
Kerala elephant case:
A brutal case of animal abuse from Kerala has left animal lovers and others alike both devastated and enraged. Locals from a village allegedly stuffed a pineapple with crackers and fed it to a pregnant elephant on Tuesday. The elephant died after the pineapple exploded in its mouth. Following the explosion, the elephant stepped into the Velliyar river and died at 4 PM while standing in the water. The gruesome incident occurred when the elephant hand wandered into a village in search of food. Cases like these are becoming common in our society and many people abuse animals daily there are numbers of cases in which people even harass animals sexually which is very disturbing to know but nowadays cases like these are the bitter truth of our society.
Cow rape case Andhra Pradesh:
In an utterly shocking and bizarre incident, a cow was sexually assaulted in a village in Andhra Pradesh. The cow was raped by unidentified person at Gokivada village in Pithapuram mandal of East Godavari district. The cow, who is three-months pregnant, belongs to a farmer named Nama Butchi Raju. The cow had gone missing on Sunday morning and was later found bleeding and tied to a tree at a nearby field. Later, a local veterinarian confirmed that the cow was sexually assaulted. The farmer has lodged a police complaint. Meanwhile, the news has agitated villagers who have demanded stern action against the accused while alleging few similar incidents in past.
There are numbers of cases but here I will talk about only 3-4 case and that also only their name and outcome of the cases.
1) People for Ethical Treatment of Animals Vs. Union of India
A film wishing to use an animal needs to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Animal Welfare Board of India as pre-requisite for certification from the Central Board for Film Certification: Bombay High Court.
2) Shri. Ajay Madhusudan Marathe Vs. New Sarvodaya CHS Ltd
As a consumer, a society cannot prohibit a resident from having pets and utilizing his/her facilities for pets: Consumer Forum, Delhi.
3) Ozair Hussain Vs. Union of India
Packaging of food, drugs and cosmetics to contain a red dot (non-vegetarian origin) or green dot (vegetarian origin) to indicate the origin of the product: Supreme Court
4) Gauri Maulekhi Vs. Union of India and Ors
Strict implementation of prohibition of cattle smuggling across the border for Gadhimai animal sacrifice in Nepal. Additionally, several welfare recommendations shall be adopted: Supreme Court.
Now that we have covered meaning importance need and origin of the act, I would like to conclude it with some suggestion-
1) Now that we have read all the laws related to animal protection, I personally feel the need of awareness because in our country people do not know the circumstances they may face if the take part in animal abuse.
2) We need strict laws related to animal protection most of the crime committed against animals can be compensated by fine which is not justified in many cases like for e.g. 2 medical student threw a puppy from top floor of building in Chennai and they were fined 2 lakhs after which they were realized.