• Shreya Goswami


Updated: Jan 29

Animal cruelty covers a wide range of action or inaction. Each type of abuse reflects certain behavior patterns and is often broken down into two main categories: active and passive, also referred to as commission and omission, respectively.

Active cruelty implies malicious intent where the harm has been caused intentionally to the animal. These kinds of acts are sometimes referred to as NAI, i.e.; Non- Accidental Injury. Passive cruelty or acts of omission exemplified by cases of neglect. The crime here is a lack of action instead of the action itself, such as starvation, dehydration, etc. Incredible pain and suffering can be caused by neglect.

The most commonly reported victims are dogs, cats, horses, and livestock. Some investigations have uncovered that animal abuse exists in large amounts, especially in the factory farm industry. Still, because of the weak protections provided to livestock, only the most shocking cases are reported, and few are prosecuted. Some forms of organized cruelty like dogfighting, cockfighting, and other forms of organized animal cruelty go hand in hand with other crimes.


Animal rights are the moral or legal right attributed to animals, usually because of the complexity of their cognitive, emotional, and social lives or their capacity to experience physical or emotional pain or pleasure.

Accepting the doctrine of animal rights means:

· Not using animals for hard labor

· Not experimenting on them

· Not breeding or killing them for foods, clothes, or medicine

· Not using them as a purpose of entertainment


Animals have become soft targets with urbanization and consumerism catching up. India is one of the world’s most leading producers of animal products and is home to several religious traditions advocating non-violence and compassion towards animals; it passed animal welfare reforms since 1960. In India, animal welfare and rights regard the treatment of and laws to curb the growing instances of cruelty towards animals. It is different from animal conservation in India.

One of the most significant moves by the Parliament was the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), 1960. This act aims to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals. To extend the scope of animal rights, another significant legislation, the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, was enacted based on a regulatory regime of command and control on Wildlife protection. The act's primary object was to curb and prevent the practice of poaching, smuggling, and illegal dealing of wildlife.

Section 428 and 429 of the IPC, 1860 exclusively deal with the crimes committed against animals.

428. Mischief by killing or maiming an animal of the value of ten rupees. -Whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless any animal or animals of the value of ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

429. Mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc., of any value or any animal of the value of fifty rupees. —Whoever commits mis­chief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever may be the value thereof, or any other animal of the value of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.

Animal welfare organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have driven several legislative and administrative moves. PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world. It focuses on the four areas where the animals suffer the most: in laboratories, in the food industry, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry.


PETA v. Union of India

Bombay High Court: Any film wishing to use an animal has to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Animal Welfare Board of India as a pre-requisite for certification from the Central Board for Film Certification.

Ozair Hussain Vs. Union of India

Supreme Court: Packaging of food, drugs, and cosmetics must contain a red dot (non-vegetarian origin) or green dot (vegetarian origin) so as to indicate the origin of the product.

Gauri Maulekhi Vs. Union of India and Ors

Supreme Court: Strict implementation of the prohibition of cattle smuggling across the border for Gadhimai animal sacrifice in Nepal. Also, several welfare recommendations shall be adopted.


Everyone has a right to life. We, humans, are entitled to much more than that; we have the right to a dignified life rather than just bare survival and numerous other rights. When deprived of these rights, we revolt; we protest. But unlike us, animals cannot claim a judicial remedy to the rights they are entitled to; they are voiceless, and concerns about animal cruelty are not being listened to. They are enslaved, beaten, and are used for entertainment in circuses, zoos, animal fighting, movies, etc. it's high time we need to realize that mere survival does not ensure a life. Animals being sentient creatures, can perceive or feel things and deserve our respect and protection. It’s not necessary to buy animal products or to participate in activities that increase animal cruelty.

As you read this, another innocent animal is being abused, and we are not even at a point yet where cruelty to animals is being reported, investigated, prosecuted, or punished in ways that match the seriousness of the crime. If you are aware of any situation of animal abuse or neglect, or you ever witness any such instance, you must call animal control or local law enforcement.

Have you ever witnessed animal cruelty for yourself? What did you do about it?

© The People Bookmark | 2020

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