Dhyan Foundation
Spiritual Equation
Animal Laws

As law abiding citizens and animal lovers, it becomes imperative that we understand basic laws that protect the innocent animals that cannot stand up for themselves.

Here are some good-to-know laws:

PROTECTION TO ANIMALS UNDER THE INDIAN LAW

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

Section 11 (1) (a) to (o) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 prescribes and enumerates different forms of cruelty to animals.
  1. The law strictly provides that it is punishable with imprisonment and fine if any animal is treated with cruelty or if given poisonous food, there are serious consequences attached to it.
  2. Transport any animal in any manner that will cause him or her unnecessary suffering. This includes loading cows into trucks without ramps and overcrowding the vehicle as well as tying up pigs and carrying them on cycles. All violations of Section 11 are punishable with a fine of Rs 100 and/or up to three months in jail.
  3. It is illegal to kill homeless animals. Citizens may only report what they perceive as a nuisance to the municipal authorities. The municipality is required to maintain an animal pound for animals.
  4. Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code make it illegal to maim or cause injury to any animal.
  5. Stray animals may not be used for research. The Rules for Experimental Animals, as formulated by the Committee for the Control and Supervision of Experimental Animals, state that only animals bred for the purpose of research by institutes registered by the Committee may be used for experimentation (although, of course, such animals suffer and feel pain just as much as strays or any other animal).

Q&A

Can people who feed animals in their areas be stopped by the RWAs or Societies or neighbour under the law?

Article 51A of the Constitutional Law of India, lays down fundamental duties for every citizen one of which included compassion for living creature.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India states the right to personal life and liberty. This is a very vast right. If someone wants to feed and provide shelter to dogs, he is at liberty to do so. He has the same right to liberty that the law provides to every citizen of India

Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 provides that intimidation is a criminal offence which is cognizable. Anyone who threatens or intimidates any person taking care of dogs is liable for criminal intimidation under Section 503 of Indian Penal Code and can be arrested without a warrant.

But, above every law and rights, there is a natural right, which is a universal right, inherent in the nature of ethics and contingent on human actions or beliefs. It is the right that is claimed to exist even when it is not enforced by Government or society as a whole. It is the right of the individual and considered beyond the authority of a Government or international body to dismiss. Therefore, if there are any rights at all, there must be right to liberty, for all the others depend on this. And the choice of loving, caring, feeding and giving shelter to dogs is the natural right of any individual.

In a Judgment passed by the Delhi Court, it has been stated that the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Municipal Authorities have in the guidelines issued by them specified the problem often faced by individuals and families who adopt and feed stray animals. The court says that it is necessary to bring into record that these individuals and families who adopt stray animals are doing a great service to humanity as they are acting in the aid and assistance of Municipal Authorities by providing these animals with food and shelter and also by getting them vaccinated and sterilized. Without assistance of such persons no local Municipal Authority can successfully carry out its ABC programme.

The Court has proceeded to say that the local police and the municipal authorities are under obligation not only to encourage such adoption but also to ensure protection to such persons who come forward to take care of these animals specifically the community or neighborhood dogs so that they are not subjected to any kind of cruelty, finally, the Court has said that every individual has the right to live his life in the manner he wants and it is necessary that the society and the community recognize it.

Can an RWA/Society or any individual remove or have removed the dogs in a colony that are already sterilized and vaccinated and throw them away anywhere?

  1. Under the Govt. of India, Animal Birth Control Rules 2001, no sterilized dogs can be relocated from their area. As per five different High Court orders, sterilized dogs have to remain in their original areas. If the dog is not sterilized, the Society can simply ask an animal welfare organization to sterilize and vaccinate the dog.

    They cannot relocate them. Relocation is not permissible, as it would cause more problems such as an increase in dog bites as new dogs will move into the area who are unfamiliar with residents and therefore more likely to be hostile.

  2. The Government of India has issued a circular Dy No 1237 dated 30/9/2006, specifically directing all RWAs and any other recognized citizens associations as follows:

    As per Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, beating, kicking, over-riding, overloading, over-driving, torturing or otherwise treating any animals so as to subject it to unnecessary pain amounts to cruelty on animals. And whoever indulges in an act of cruelty to animals makes himself liable for action under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

    There are designated agencies in Govt./local self-government Organizations that are authorized to deal with stray animals. Such Organizations regularly undertake inoculations, sterilization of animals and other programmes.

    Recognized Associations may approach such institution for redressal of their grievances if any, with regard to stray animals. Un-recognized associations may also approach such bodies with their grievances, but they should not pretend to represent the residents in general. All problems of stray animals have to be handled within the institutional framework available. No association, recognized or unrecognized, shall take recourse to any action regarding stray animals on their own, either themselves or through any person employed by them like security guards.

    Where there is no recognized association, residents may take up grievances through the AWO/Office of the CWO. While residents and Associations are free to address institutional agencies for redressal of grievances in this matter, no resident/association will interfere with the freedom of other residents in caring and attending animals. Intimidating in any manner, those who feed and care for animals is a criminal offence. Apart from action under appropriate criminal law, such persons will render themselves liable for action under CCS Conduct Rules.

What You Can Do to Help Stray Animals ?

  1. When you see a dog or cow being hit or stoned, be sure to inform the offender of the law and get him or her to stop. Should the abuse persist, register an FIR at the closest police station. Do not become discouraged if the police do not, at first, take you seriously. In many cases, they may not know the laws pertaining to animals. Be polite but firm.
  2. If the municipality in your area is still cruelly killing homeless dogs, make an appointment with the municipal commissioner. Inform the commissioner that it has been proven that cruelly killing dogs reduces neither their number nor the incidence of bites and rabies and that the courts have ruled that it is illegal to cruelly kill stray animals. The Animal Welfare Board of India has developed a set of guidelines for all municipalities directing the implementation of the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme. If there is an animal welfare organization in the area, urge it to take up the ABC programme
  3. It is illegal for a municipality to round up stray dogs and abandon them outside city limits, as it places them in circumstances likely to cause their death from starvation and thirst. Therefore, you should challenge this cruelty in court.
  4. When you find cows or buffaloes on the street or tethered on public pavements, ask those nearby if anyone knows their owner or the dairy to which they belong. Inform the owner that it is illegal to allow cows to wander. If the owner does not have enough space to keep the cows comfortable or the means to feed them, file a complaint with the municipality asking that the cows be sent to a suitable shelter. Cows and buffaloes left on the street are often hit by cars and die from eating plastic bags, broken glass and other trash.
  5. If you notice cows or other animals with burn marks, usually on their rumps, near particular fruit and vegetable markets, it is probable that the vegetable sellers throw acid on the animals to drive them away from their stalls. If there is a market association, approach the head and inform her or him of the law (IPC, Sections 428 and 429). Request that all vegetable vendors be warned against this practice. Inform the police station in the area to keep an eye out for such violations.
  6. When you see an animal knocked over by a vehicle, get the number of the vehicle. Check the animal for signs of life. If possible, move him or her to safety and administer life-saving first aid. If you can take the animal to a veterinarian yourself, do so. If not, call an animal welfare organization that has an ambulance. Once the animal is taken care of, file a complaint against the offender with the closest police station (IPC, Sections 428 and 429).
  7. If you know of any research institute that is using animals, ask for the source of the animals. If you suspect the animals have been taken from the street or a pound or that the animals are being abused, contact the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA).
    In the meantime, file a case with the police.
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