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Brief about Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

This article is written by Nupoor Agarwal, 2nd year BBA LLB (Hons.) student of School of Law, NMIMS, Navi Mumbai during her internship with LeDroit India.

Introduction

Animals, like humans, are capable of understanding bodily and emotional suffering. As a result, they can comprehend the gravity of whatever bodily or emotional injury they are subjected to. This planet belongs to them just as much as it does to us humans. As a result, it is critical that other living beings be permitted to survive and thrive in the same way that we do.

The Prevention of Cruelty Act of 1960 was created with this aim in mind, with the intent of severely punishing those who commit cruelty to animals, establishing an animal welfare board, classifying acts that constitute cruelty to animals, and so on.

Offense of cruelty under the Act

According to Section 11 of this Act, any person who does the following acts is guilty of cruelty:

1. beats, kicks, runs over, drives over, loads over, tortures, or otherwise abuses any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner, or causes or authorizes any animal to be used for such purposes;

2. uses any animal in work or labor that is unsuited for such employment due to any disease, infirmity, wound, sore, or other cause, or allows any such unfit animal to be employed; or

3. willfully and unreasonably administers any harmful drug or substance to any domestic or captive animal, or inflicts or seeks to inflict an intake of any such drug or substance on any domestic or captive animal; or

4. conveys or carries any animal in a way or position that causes it needless pain or suffering; or

5. cages or confines any animal or other receptacle with insufficient height, length, or width to provide the animal a fair opportunity to roam about; or

6. keeps any animal tied or tethered for an unreasonable period of time with an unreasonably short or lengthy chain; or

6. being the owner negligently exercises or causes such reasonable negligence to any dog habitually chained up or kept in close confinement; or

8. being the owner of any captive animal fails to provide it with adequate food, drink, or shelter; or

9. abandoning any animal in such situations causing it to suffer pain due to starvation or thirst, for any reason; or

10. deliberately allowing any animal of which be is the owner to run at large in any street while the animal is affected; or

11. offering for sale or having any animal that is in agony as a result of mutilation, malnutrition, dehydration, overcrowding, or other ill-treatment is prohibited; or

12. mutilates or kills any animal in an unnecessarily cruel manner; or

13. confines or causes the confinement of any animal in such a way that it becomes an object of prey for any other animal simply for the purpose of creating entertainment for other people; or

14. For commercial reasons, organizes, keeps, uses, or manages any location for animal fighting or pretending to bait any animal, authorizes or offers any place to be used for such purposes, or accepts money for the entry of any other person to any place held or used for such purposes; or promotes or participates in any shooting match or competition in which captive animals are released for the purpose of such an event; shall be punished with a fine of up to 50 INR in the case of a first offence, and with a fine of up to 100 INR in the case of a second or subsequent offence committed within 3 years of the previous offence, or both.

The following acts, however, shall be exempt from the definition of cruelty:

  • dehorning of cattle/castration/branding/nose-roping of any animal if done in a prescribed manner, or
  • destroying stray dogs in lethal chambers or by other methods with minimal suffering; or
  • exterminating or destroying any animal under the legal authority of any existing law; or
  • any matter under Chapter IV (Experimentation on Animals); or
  • doing or abstaining from any activity in the course of any investigation

Prescribed punishment

  • First offence: a fine ranging from ten to fifty rupees
  • Second or subsequent offences committed within three years of the prior offence: a fine ranging from twenty-five to one hundred rupees, or imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

Other provisions of the Act

The Act establishes a punishment for phooka or doom dev operations on milch animals, as they are damaging to them. Phooka or doom dev is the technique of injecting air into the female portions of a milch animal with the purpose of drawing off any secretion of milk from it. Section 13 allows for the euthanasia of animals in distress. If the Court determines that it is best to end an animal’s suffering and that keeping it alive would only cause it more pain, it has the authority to direct the animal’s death to any suitable person for that purpose, and if any reasonable expenses are incurred in the process, the owner must cover them as if they were a fine. It is vital to note that no such order may be issued without the owner’s consent, unless the veterinary officer in charge of that region agrees.

Offences related to Performing Animals

  • If any individual who is engaged in the training and display of performing animals and has not received a registration certificate as required by the statute;
  • Who obtains a certificate of registration but does not manage the animals in the way for which the registration was issued;
  • Any animal that has been explicitly notified not to be utilized by notification in the official gazette is trained or exhibited;
  • obstructs or deliberately delays the authorized person’s or the police inspector’s inspection;
  • To evade scrutiny, conceal any animal;
  • Despite being registered, fails to deliver the certificate of registration without justifiable cause;
  • When he or she is not eligible to be registered, he or she applies to be registered under the legislation.

He or she will be punished with a fine of up to 500 rupees, or three months in jail, or both.

Exceptions:

  • A society or organization that keeps animals in any zoological garden for educational or scientific reasons;
  • a society or institution that keeps animals in any zoological garden for a bona genuine military or police purpose.

Killing for religious purposes

The requirements of this act are inapplicable to the slaughter of any animal for the purposes of any religious community, according to Section 28. For example, goat slaughter during Kali puja is not covered by this app.

Presumption of Guilt

According to Section 30, if a person is charged with performing a zoocide of a cow, goat, or their progeny in violation of Section 11(1)(1), and it is obvious that he was in possession of the skin of such animal at the time of offence, he would be assumed guilty until the opposite is established.

Limiting prosecutions

Section 36 states that no prosecution for an offence committed under this act can be brought after three months have passed since the offence was committed.

Conclusion

This was the first legislation addressing animal cruelty and animal protection. The Wildlife Conservation Act, which was more of a specific enactment dealing with the protection of wild creatures within Indian territory, was approved by Parliament in 1972. To ameliorate the existing state of animal cruelty, loopholes in the legislation must be addressed, and the Act must be strictly followed. The punishment and fines under the Act must be increased. People must work with animal protection organizations and report crimes when they occur. Animals, too, are entitled to decent treatment and should be treated as living creatures with respect. To operate as an effective safeguard, the Act should be revised from time to time, and the penalties should be made more severe.

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