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If you’ve clicked on this blog then it means that you care about animals. And most importantly, you care if our pets and animals live a dignified life that’s free of cruelty and injustice. Whether we’re out to run errands or are mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, it’s difficult to escape encountering instances of animal abuse cases in India.
Pets cannot speak for themselves so it’s our responsibility to be their voice if they’re suffering. Here’s what you can do if you witness a pet or animal being abused in India:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Animal cruelty refers to any act of causing intentional physical or psychological harm or suffering to pets and animals. Here is what constitutes as pet cruelty in India:
Physical abuse such as beating, kicking, stabbing or burning
Neglect by failing to provide them with sufficient food, water, shelter, veterinarian care and hygiene
Abandonment that leads to their suffering, illness, injury or death
Keeping pets tied up or in constant confinement, restricting their movement for extended periods of time.
Organising animal fighting or conducting experiments on animals
Pet parenting is a huge responsibility and it goes beyond providing simple food and shelter to our pets. It is a promise and deep commitment to ensure our furry companion lives a full life and where they’re physically, emotionally and mentally healthy. It’s understanding our pet’s natural needs and providing them with love, compassion.
It’s unfortunate that instead of treating pets as family and providing them with their best life, many pet parents treat their pets with lack of respect. In India, pet parents can be held accountable for animal cruelty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The act defines animal cruelty and sets forth provisions for the prevention and punishment of animal abuse in India.
Here’s what you can do if you witness animal abuse in India:
A. Gather evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible to support your complaint. This may include photographs, videos, or any other documentation that clearly shows the animal cruelty taking place.
B. Identify the relevant authorities: In India, animal cruelty falls under the jurisdiction of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), which operates under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Additionally, you can also contact local animal welfare organisations or NGOs that work in your area to build a stronger case.
C. Lodge a complaint: You can file a complaint with the AWBI or the local police station, depending on the severity of the cruelty. Visit the AWBI website to find the contact information for your state or region.
D. Provide details: When reporting animal cruelty, provide as much detailed information as possible, including the date, time, and location of the incident, description of the cruelty, and any other relevant information that can assist the authorities in taking appropriate action.
E. Submit evidence: Submit the evidence you have gathered along with your complaint. If possible, provide copies rather than originals, as they may not be returned to you.
F. Follow up: After reporting the incident, follow up with the authorities to ensure that your complaint is being properly addressed. If you do not receive a satisfactory response or action, you can escalate the matter to higher authorities or involve local animal welfare organisations to seek their assistance.
HUFT Tip: If you’d like to make your case stronger, you can also reach out to fellow animal lovers on social media who can share the story and help amplify the appeal for justice.
IV. FARIDABAD: People For Animals Trust (PFA)
VI. AHMEDABAD: Prakriti Farm Foundation
VIII. RAIPUR: Vatika Animal Sanctuary
X. Gangtok / Guwahati
If you know of more trusted and reliable animal welfare organisations in your locality who are doing a commendable job, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall be happy to update the list.
The prevention of cruelty towards animals is a state subject. The Central Government does not keep records on this matter. However, the Animal Welfare Board of India consistently receives information on animal cruelty cases. The AWBI then contacts State Governments and local authorities, urging them to take appropriate action according to the existing laws.
However, there aren’t enough provisions for holding animal abusers accountable in India. According to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960, for a first-time offence, the punishment can include imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to Rs. 50, or both. For subsequent offences, the imprisonment can extend up to six months, a fine of up to Rs.100, or both.
Recently there have been efforts to make the punishment for animal cruelty more stringent, all thanks to the consistent efforts made by multiple animal welfare organisations in India.
December 2022 saw the central government draft of the 13 page Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (Amendment) Bill-2022 to amend the decades old Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. This public draft has been prepared by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying. Here’s an overview of the bill proposed:
A. Stricter punishments
The proposed draft includes 61 amendments that introduce stricter punishments for animal abuse in India. These include provision of 3 year prison sentence for engaging in heinous crimes against animals and 5 year prison sentence for taking an animal’s life.
B. Defining crime
Additionally, the draft introduces a new way to group crimes, considering bestiality as a type of gruesome cruelty. Bestiality is defined as any kind of sexual activity or intercourse between a person and an animal. Gruesome cruelty, on the other hand, has been defined as “an act that leads to extreme pain and suffering to the animals which may cause lifelong disability or death”.
C. Freedoms for animals
The draft also outlines 5 freedoms for animals. It is the duty of every individual entrusted with an animal to ensure that the animal under their care has:
The state board will enable states to implement quicker and essential actions. The bill also suggests that in the case of community animals, the responsibility of caring for them will lie with the local government, such as the municipality or panchayat. The care provided will be based on guidelines established by the State Government or the board.
In conclusion, it is our collective responsibility to raise awareness, advocate for stricter laws, and promote a compassionate society that protects the well-being of our beloved pets and animals in India. Together, let’s create a world where every animal is treated with the love, respect, and care they truly deserve.
Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 defines various forms of cruelty towards animals. It includes provisions related to beating, kicking, overworking, torturing, or causing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals.
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