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Animal Cruelty And Laws Regarding It In India

Utkarsha Singh_JudicateMe


This Blog is written by Utkarsha Singh from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. Edited by Uroosa Naireen.



As it has been rightly said by Abraham Lincoln, “I am in favour of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”

Mahatma Gandhi once rightly said, “The greatness of a nation is judged by the way it treats its animals.”

We live in a world that not only turns a blind eye to animal cruelty, but condones it, either through indifference or by legislation. It is legal to raise chickens in deplorable conditions for the sole purpose of slaughter. If this is not animal cruelty, then what is? The problem is that there are not enough people fighting for animal rights. If everyone started looking at animals, not just cats and dogs, as animals that share our planet, we would see far fewer cases of animal cruelty.

However, in India, many do not feel the same. Cases of cruelty and inhumanity to animals are on the rise and what is being done to stop it? There are numerous laws in India that were framed to safeguard animals and stop cruelty towards them, but very few are aware of what they are and how they work. In India, it is common to see roughly castrated bulls pulling carts full of huge loads and being repeatedly flogged if stopped on the road. People throw rocks at cats and dogs for fun and how to forget, all the “domestication” contests, fights and wagon races where animals like bulls, cows and chickens are treated as if they are just playful objects. In this world of modernization and development, people are slowly losing their ethics and morals not only among themselves but also towards these innocent animals. [1]

Most cases of animal abuse involve the intentional harm of a non-human animal. When a man kicks a dog for having an accident in the house or when a woman lashes her horse for not responding to an order, those are cases of animal abuse. One of the problems faced by animal rights activists is that animal abuse rarely occurs with the naked eye. It occurs behind closed doors and on factory farms that are not open to the public. When we don’t see it happen, we can pretend it doesn’t exist. Unfortunately for affected animals, it exists. Animal cruelty and abuse is a systemic problem that is often passed down from parents to children, from bosses to workers, and from culture to culture.


The types of Animal Cruelty involve[2] :-

Animal Exploitation:

For some people, there is a sense of entitlement to animals. These people believe that we have the right to use animals in any way we want, generally for monetary gain. However, animal exploitation is a form of cruelty to animals, especially when exploitation goes against the instincts of the animal or forces it into fearful or unsafe situations. Circuses, zoos, water theme parks, and other places often exploit animals in the name of entertainment. The crowd does not see how animals are forced to submit, locked in small cages, and are denied socialization with others of their own kind.

Human Predation:

Humans are often called “apex predators”. Due to our unique set of skills, we can easily dominate animals. The question is whether we should, and the answer is no. When humans take advantage of animals, we take away their agency and reduce them to nothing more than food on a plate. Sometimes we even take advantage of animals without the desire to eat them. The fur farming industry is a good example.

Animal Testing:

We have been testing products on animals for many decades, and although our scientific developments have made animal testing unnecessary, and even less effective than other testing methods, they still occur worldwide. Animals in testing facilities are exposed to all kinds of chemicals and substances, many of which cause itching, burning, chronic pain, loss of body parts, and other dire consequences. The animal cruelty that permeates through the laboratories need not continue.

Animal Neglect:

In some cases, animal abandonment comes from ignorance. A person keeps an animal in their property and does not know how to properly care for it. This is not a justification for neglect, but an acknowledgment that we need to educate people about the animals in their care. Neglect can also come from disinterest. If a dog’s owner realizes that the animal has suffered an injury, he or she is legally and morally obligated to obtain veterinary care. Unfortunately, some people are unwilling to spend the time and money necessary to heal their sick or injured pets.

Few incidents that showcase the brutal nature of people who have brought a huge shame to humanity for their dastardly and cowardly acts[3]:

• Body of A Leopard with Its Head & Paws Cut Off, found in Maharashtra

• Leopard Electrocuted and Burnt in Telangana

• Pvt security guards in Gurgaon attempt to bury street dog alive

• 70-year-old frail elephant in Sri Lanka whose photos sparked outrage passes away.

• Chennai man drags dog on road, beats it up then throws it into a pond, gets arrested.

• Three men in Agra kidnap neighbor’s pet dog and sexually assaulted by taking turns to rape it.

• In Thailand, animals are being used as photo props and jabbed with metal spikes for tourism.

• Stray dog tied to a vehicle in Mumbai and then dragged on the road to death.

• Village head orders poisoning of 50 stray dogs in the state of Telangana.


Banning of Jallikattu

The Supreme Court in the case of Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja & Ors, issued a very important judgment in which it prohibited the sport of Jallikattu practiced in the state of Mumbai and Tamil Nadu.

The Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory body, established under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 challenged the 2007 ruling of the High Court of Madras K. Muniasamythevar v Dy. Police Superintendent, in which sport Jallikattu was allowed. But the Supreme Court banned the sport and annulled the Tamil Nadu Regulation of the Jallikattu Act of 2009.

Notice by Madras High Court

Two M.B.B.S students video graphed the incident of throwing a stray dog from the terrace.  A petition was filed by an honorary animal welfare officer of Animal Welfare Board of India because the offenders got an interim bail by a lower court.

The Madras High Court issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government about the cancellation of the bond they were granted. It is the judiciary that can perform Yeoman’s service by recognizing that such cruel actions deserve immediate and harsh action despite past criminal behaviour in order to create a deterrent effect on society.


To put a stop to animal cruelty, the Central government has passed several laws, namely:

The Prevention of Cruelty Animals Act, 1960

Section 11(1) defines the forms of cruelty towards animals under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

This demonstration is implied for the security of wild creatures and fowls, and there are arrangements that defend the interests of the creatures.

Restricts the slaughter of animals, according to Section 39 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, there is a strict cancellation of any harm to creatures and the punishment is mentioned in section 51 of the Act.

There is also a ban on keeping any Indian bird under the law. In the event that someone wishes to keep a feathered creature allowed, they must fully consent to Section 11 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Police Powers: Section 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 approves that a police officer can capture any person without a court order.

Monkeys cannot be displayed or owned, and are also guaranteed by the Wildlife Protection Act.1972.


People for Ethical Treatment of Animals v. Union of India

A film wishing to use an animal must obtain a Certificate of No Objection from the Animal Welfare Board of India as a prerequisite for certification from the Central Film Certification Board.

In 2004, the High Court of Bombay passed a major ruling, in which any film intended for public view, in which an animal is used and / or filmed, must obtain a certificate from the Animal Welfare Board of the India, which establishes that the provisions of the Enforcement Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, have been duly complied with. This decision protects animals from being exploited or mistreated during the filming period, which can span several hours. The failure prevents animals, among other abuses, from being exposed to loud and strange noises, beaten or kept without food or water.

Shri. Ajay Madhusudan Marathe v. New Sarvodaya CHS Ltd.

As a consumer, a society cannot prohibit a resident from having pets and using their pet facilities

The Consumer Court ruled in favour of a resident who complained that the cooperative society in which he resided had passed a resolution preventing dogs from using the elevators in the building. The society passed this resolution on the grounds that the dog was not a consumer and its use of the elevator could cause the spread of disease and therefore the society’s facilities could not be used. For this, the Court declared that the owner, being a member of the cooperative housing society, was a consumer and, therefore, had the full right to present his complaint to the Consumer Court. Furthermore, the dog had a valid license from the Kennel Club of India, was registered with the Municipal Corporation and had been issued a Health Certificate by the Bombay College of Veterinarians. This ruling reiterated that residents could not be prevented from having pets and that those pets were not prohibited from using elevators.

Ozair Hussain v. Union of India

Food, medicine and cosmetic packaging to contain a red dot (non-vegetarian origin) or a green dot (vegetarian origin) to indicate the origin of the product

Taking into account freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 (1) of the Indian Constitution, as well as Article 10 (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Delhi High Court declared that the Product packaging, including food, medicines (except life-saving ones), and cosmetics must contain information on the vegetarian or non-vegetarian origins of the items. Any food item that contains all or part of an animal, but does not include milk or milk products as an ingredient, must be identified with a brown circle within a square outline. Similarly, all vegetarian food should be identified by the presence of a green circle within a green square outline. The reason behind this lawsuit was that a citizen’s freedom of expression also extended to their food choices, and thus this decision would allow citizens to make informed decisions about the products they consume.

State of U.P v. Mustakeem and Ors.

Custody of animals, in cases of cruelty, shall not be given to the accused but to the nearest gaushala or pinjrapole, until the conclusion of the trial: Supreme Court.

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, in a case where goats were found to be transported for slaughter in a cruel way (they were closely linked to each other, which went against the provisions of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960), an FIR was filed against the owner. However, the Allahabad High Court returned custody of the animals to the owner while the matter was under litigation. On appeal, the Supreme Court stated that the animals were supposed to be confiscated from the owner and housed in a gaushala, under the care of the State Government, who was assigned the position for the duration of the case. With this decision, the Court made it clear that once an animal was removed from the care of a person for cruelty to their care, the animal would not be returned until the case was resolved.

Gauri Maulekhi v. 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

In 2014, Court banned the illegal transportation of livestock to Nepal for the Gadhimai festival, which played a major role in reducing the number of animals slaughtered that year. Prior to this, Sahastra Seema Bal worked with the petitioner to draft a set of regulations related to animal markets, livestock markets, and the creation of infrastructure for livestock, thereby creating a set of recommendations that the Court certified. In approving the Order, the Court declared that these recommendations would have to be adopted.


The animals whose abuse is most frequently reported are dogs, cats, horses and livestock. Undercover investigations have revealed that animal abuse abounds in the industrial farm industry. But because of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state cruelty laws, only the most shocking cases are reported and few are prosecuted.


People who abuse animals are cowards – they raise their issues with the most defenceless victims available, and their cruelty often crosses species lines. Research in psychology and criminology shows that animal abusers tend to repeat their crimes and to commit similar crimes against members of their own species. This phenomenon is known to the police and humanitarian professionals as “the link”. For the safety of all, it is vital that law enforcement officials and communities treat animal cruelty cases seriously and ensure that animal abusers are properly prosecuted and convicted.

The judiciary has a very important function, that is, if the punishments for this type of crime can be stricter, people will try to care for and not ruthlessly kill innocent animals. However, in cases such as Bharat Amratlal Kothari v. Dosukhan Sindhi, which amounted to greater cruelty, only a negligible fine of Rs 50 was imposed on the accused.

In 2011, the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act was amended and renamed the Indian Animal Welfare Act, as the need to change the old law was felt. Despite so many laws, the momentum will only come when people collaborate with animal rights organizations and organizations and make efforts to improvise the sorry condition of animals. Apart from this, Governmental and Non-Governmental agencies can take steps to correct the system.






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