Image by Artur Wojciechowski from Pixabay 

Never believe that animals suffer less than humans, pain is the same for them as it is for us. Even worse because they cannot help themselves.

− Louis J. Camuti


In our neighborhood, we see many animals daily. Now in our country, if a dog is on the street people have a right to hit him and no one plays objection to it, but if, the dog resides in someone’s house as a pet no matter how dangerous it is for the neighborhood nobody will pay any attention. There are many species that are extinct or even endangered due to the negligence of human beings. There is a gigantic market operating internationally for the animal’s skin and other illegal and rare traits. Some scientists used animals as a case to do experiments. There are many laws to protect the animals from this cruelty but for that the deed should be reported. In today's world where one human does not think twice before killing another human there is no place for animals to get mercy. There are very less cases that came under the spotlight.


Animal experiments are majorly used to make new medicine and to test the safety of other products. Many of these experiments cause pain to the animals involved or reduce their quality of life in another way. If it is morally wrong to cause animals to suffer then experimenting on animals produces serious moral problems. Animal experimenters are very aware of this ethical problem and acknowledge that experiments should be made as humanely as possible. Animal rights extremists often portray those who experiment on animals as being so cruel as to have forfeited any own moral standing.

The issue of animal experiments is straightforward if we accept that animals have rights: if an experiment violates the rights of an animal, then it is morally wrong because it is wrong to violate rights. The possible benefits to humanity of experimenting are completely irrelevant to the morality of the case because rights should never be violated (except in obvious cases like self-defense). And as one philosopher has written, if this means that there are some things that humanity will never be able to learn, so be it. This bleak result of deciding the morality of experimenting on animals based on rights is probably why people always justify animal experiments on consequentialist grounds; by showing that the benefits to humanity justify the suffering of the animals involved. In the case of People for Ethical Treatment of Animal v. Union of India (1), it was held by Bombay High Court that a film wishing to use an animal needs 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. This ruling prevents animals from, among other abuses, being exposed to loud, strange sounds, beating, or kept without food and water.

In the state of Uttar Pradesh, in a case where goats are found to be transported for slaughter cruelly, an FIR was filed against the owner. However, the UP High Court returned custody of the animals to the owner while the matter was under litigation. On appeal of the Hon’ble Supreme Court declared that the animals were supposed to be confiscated from the owner and housed in a gaushala, under the care of the state government.

According to the Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 if an animal is harassed or assaulted in any manner the owner would be liable for the damage done. If the owner knowingly employs an unfit animal to a job and it causes the death of the animal then the liability arises for the owner only. In the case of Nair, N.R., and ors. v. Union of India(2), the Kerala High Court upheld a notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests stating that bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, and lions shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals. When the notification was challenged in the Supreme court, the court declared that animals suffer cruelty as they are abused and caged to make them perform, and therefore, this contravenes the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It also dismissed the argument that the petitioners’ right to carry out any trade or business under article 19(g) of the Indian constitution was violated as those activities that caused pain and suffering to the aforementioned animals would not be allowed.

Doom dev or Phooka

According to section 12 of the act (3), if any person performs upon any cow or other milch animal the operation is called phooka or (4) [doom dev or any other operation (including injection of any substance) to improve lactation which is injuries to the health of the animal] or permits such operation being performed upon any such animal in his possession or under his control, he shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with both, and the animal on which the operation was performed shall be forfeited to the government. This offense can also have counted under section 428 and section 429 of IPC.

Section 428 of IPC: Mischief by killing or maiming animals 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. ‘maiming’ here refers to those injuries which cause the privation of the use of a limb or a member of the body. Wounding is not necessarily maiming.

Section 429 of IPC: 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. 

The Supreme Court in State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Khan(5), held that an offense under Section 429, IPC and under Section 9(1) read with Section 50 of the wildlife protection Act, 1972, being substantially similar, the bar of double jeopardy would operate for this offense.

According to section 13 of the act6, 

  1. Where the owner of an animal is convicted of an offense under section 11, it shall be lawful for the court, if the court is satisfied that it would be cruel to keep the animal alive, to direct that the animal be destroyed, and to assign the animal to any suitable person for that purpose and the person to whom the such animal is so assigned shall, as soon as possible, destroy the such animal or cause such animal to be destroyed in his presence without unnecessary suffering, and any reasonable expense incurred in destroying the animal may be ordered by the court to be recovered from the owner as if it were a fine: Provided that unless the owner assents thereto, no order shall be made under this section except upon the evidence of a veterinary officer in charge of the area.
  2. When any magistrate, commissioner of police or district superintendent of police has reason to believe that an offence under section 11 has been committed in respect of any animal, he may direct the immediate destruction of the animal, if in his opinion, it would be cruel to keep the animal alive.
  3. Any police officer above the rank of a constable or any person authorized by the State Government in this behalf who finds any animal so diseased or so severely injured or in such a physical condition that in his opinion it cannot be removed without cruelty, may, if the owner is absent or refuses his consent to the destruction of the animal, forthwith summon the veterinary officer in charge of the area in which the animal is found, and if the veterinary office certifies that the animal is mortally injured or so severely injured or in such a physical condition that it would be cruel to keep it alive, the police officer or the person authorized, as the case may be may, after obtaining orders from a magistrate, destroy the animal injured or cause it to be destroyed (2) [in such manner as may be prescribed].
  4. No appeal shall lie from any order of a magistrate for the destruction of an animal. Nothing contained in this Act shall render unlawful the performance of experiments (including experiments involving operations) on animals for the purpose of advancement by new discovery of physiological knowledge or of knowledge which will be useful for saving or for prolonging life or alleviating suffering or for combating any disease, whether of human beings, animals or plants. (7)

Punishments for the above felonies are mentioned under section 20 of PCA, which states that is a person contravenes any order made by the Committee under section 19, commits a breach of any condition imposed by the Committee under that section he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, and, when the contravention or breach of condition has taken place in any institution, the person in charge of the institution shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be punishable accordingly.

In the case of Gauri Maulekhi v. Union of India and Ors8, the Hon’ble Supreme Court bannedthe illegal transport of cattle to Nepal for the Gadhimia festival, which played an important role in bringing down the number of animals sacrificed that year. Prior to this, the Sahastra Seema Bal worked with the petitioner to draft a set of regulations related to animal markets, cattle markets and creating infrastructure for cattle, thus creating a set of recommendations that the court certifies. In passing the order, the Supreme Court declares that these recommendations would have to be adopted.

Acts of cruelty to animals are not mere indications of a minor personality flaw in the abuser, they are symptomatic of a deep mental disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commits acts of cruelty to animals don’t stop there−many of them move on to their fellow humans. It is seen in human phycology that any criminal or let’s say a serial killer whose violent tendencies were first directed at animals. The deadly violence that has shattered schools in recent years has, in most cases, begun with cruelty to animals. High school killers such as Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Florida and Luke Woodham, in Pearl, tortured animals before starting their shooting sprees. (9)

Animal agriculture, which was once predominantly carried out by smallholder farmers and considered a symbiotic relationship, has now been highly industrialized where the single point of focus is to increase productivity per animal. In our desire to do this, we have trait selected chickens to grow so freakishly fast that their own skeletons cannot hold their body weight, these abnormally large animals are then used for meat. More than 80 percent of India’s eggs come from egg-laying hens confined in small cages, termed ‘battery cages’, where they cannot stand up straight, turn around, or spread their wings.

Factory farms don’t inflict harm just on animals; there are environmental impacts as well. The volume of waste that is allowed to accumulate in factory farms presents an environmental hazard. Water quality issues also arise from factory farm-generated waste, which include contamination of surface water and ground water. In addition, the microbial breakdown of organic carbon and nitrogen compounds in the animal manure can contribute to air pollution and odour problems. Emission of noxious levels of gases puts workers and nearby residents at risk of developing several acute and chronic illnesses.(10)

What can be done?

The solutions lie where the thought lies and every problem has a solution. Communities must recognize that abuse to any living being is unacceptable and endangers everyone. Children should be taught to care for and respect animals. After an extensive study of the links between animal abuse and human abuse, two experts concluded, “the evolution of a more gentle and benign relationship in human society might be enhanced by our promotion of a more positive and nurturing ethic between children and animals. 

With that in mind, please be sure to do the following:

  • Urge your local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, judges, and schools to take cruelty to animals seriously, those charged with protecting our communities and animals must send a strong message that violence against any feeling creature−human or nonhuman−is unacceptable.
  • Be aware of signs of neglect or abuse in children and animals, and immediately report suspected crimes to authorities. Take children seriously if they report that animal is being neglected or mistreated. Some children won’t talk about their own suffering but will talk about an animal’s.
  • Don’t ignore even minor acts of cruelty to animals by children. Talk to the child and the child’s parents. If necessary, call a social worker.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation and its progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. India has the potential to lead the world in animal welfare, however the tendency to look at animal welfare issues in a vacuum rather than as an interlinked issue with other civil society concerns, has prevented this movement from being taken seriously.

When it comes to human, Article 21 of Indian Constitutions gives us protection of life and personal liberty but it clearly states that every ‘person’ has liberty over his life. But animals don’t have such privilege. But recently Himachal Pradesh High Court passed an order directing the owners to provide respect, care, dignity, and shelter to the animals. “There is no conflict of interest between animals and humans. On the contrary, man needs to attend to the animals. Their sufferings need to be lessened and life ameliorated. In our country where cow is worshiped as a sign of purity and snakes are treated as gods, there should be rights provided to the animals. They should have fundamental rights under the Constitution of India,” said the court.(11) Animals are also creations of god same as humans and as scientific theory proves that human is also evolved by animals. Animals should have equal rights as human does because right to life and liberty are the basic rights and should be allowed t every being on this earth. At least as an independent country we can still make an effort for the species of fauna rescinding under the shadow of Indian flag.


  1. Bombay High Court, 22/08/2005
  2. 1 May 2001. CASE NO.: Appeal (civil) 3609-3620 of 2001
  3. Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960
  4. Subs. By Act 26 of 1982, s.11, for ‘doom dev’ (w.e.f. 30-7-1982)
  5. A.I.R. 2000 S.C. 3616.
  6. Protection of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960
  7. Section 14, Protection of Cruelty to Animal, 1960
  8. A.I.R. 2014.
  9. PETA
  11. The Indian Express, Legal weekly: Animals have a fundamental right in the Constitution; top judgements of the week.

.    .    .