Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal regarding how they are coping up with surroundings and conditions, treatment that an animal receives gets covered by terms like animal caring, animal husbandry, and humane treatment. Protecting animal welfare basically means providing them proper habitat , their physical and mental needs. The antediluvian Humans are known for the tractableness of animals, In India, people worship animals as Gods And Goddesses they are Also used for husbandry and agricultural purposes the Indian Constitution provides many legislations for animal
The Supreme Court of India on many occasions does approve of the rights of animals, even though having so much to the protection and preserving the rights of animals, animal cruelty is prevailing in India. Many incidents of animal cruelty occur daily but in most of the cases, they are not reported. To reduce the cases of animal cruelty and for the reason of creating social awareness, the researchers had conducted a social survey of outreaching. Strict rules and legislation, active participation of all individuals, and social awareness can only reduce this scenario. Also Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, and the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 at the Central level and cattle protection and cow slaughter prohibition legislation at the State levels
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 is the official criminal code of India which covers all substantive aspects of criminal law. Sections 428 and 429 of the IPC specifies that all such acts of cruelty, such as killing, poisoning , maiming, or rendering useless of animals and are entitled to for Rs 10 and with imprisonment for two years or with fine or both. The aforementioned legislations have been validated to preclude unnecessary pain and suffering of animals and similar legislations continue to be validated according to changing circumstances. Notwithstanding certain particular statutes, further protections for animals lie under the general concepts such as tort law, constitutional law, etc. section 429 Indian Penal Code, 1860, deals with the punishment for killing or maiming any described animal of any value or the value of 50 rupees or more with the imprisonment of five years or with, fine or with both.
Animal welfare is all about the well-being of animals it includes the aspects of the keeping of animals. More eminently it pursues to address the FIVE main and major freedoms which are available for and perfect and proper animal welfare.
THESE FIVE FREEDOMS ARE :
Nutrition: Animals are given freedom from thirst and hunger, are provided proper consumption of nutrition.
Environment: Animals are given freedom from discomfort by providing appropriate shelter and types of habitat where they can live and are comfortable.
Health: Animals are given freedom from injury and disease by providing proper treatment, different vaccines, proper animal care, and regular checkups.
Behavior: Animals are given the freedom to express their own kind by providing proper facilities, sanctuaries, and forests are where they live and they find themselves comfortable there.
Mental state: Animals are given freedom from fear and mental suffering and are tamed accordingly.
Each animal on the earth is entitled to have a good and healthy life where they can enjoy the benefits for their wellbeing.
The Supreme Court of India in centre for Environmental Law , in the case WWF v. Union Of India, scrutinized that, for a better and sustainable future, we should consider the principle of Ecocentrism and not Anthropocentrism. Ecocentrism is considered the intrinsic values of both humans and non-humans and promotes the idea that both of them are part and parcel of the very same eco-system.
Despite having these principles and practices, yet animal brutality and cruelty, and exploitation are prevailing across the country.
The trading of wildlife and slaughtering of Animals for the religious purposes and indulging them to harmful sports and activities for the entertainment purposes of human being which depicts a large scale of animal cruelty by humans. The human species is considered to be the most superior in the circle of the food chain due to their intelligence and knowledge. But many kinds of research importantly show that few animals have emotions and intelligence it's just that they can't express them in words.
In India, Animal cruelty is an emerging issue and various legislations and judicial pronouncements were made to eliminate the same by providing animal welfare laws.
Researchers have prepared and formed a project with verifiable experience aimed at analyzing and understanding the existing laws for animal welfare in India.
ANIMAL PROTECTION LAWS IN INDIA
Under the Constitution of India, different Articles were made to protect and preserve the rights of animals in India, which are implemented and accepted as they are.
Part IV of the constitution states The Directive Principles of State Policy, under which Article 48 states, organization of agriculture and animal husbandry, which empowers the state to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on new and modern and scientific lines and shall also preserve the breeds and prohibit from the slaughtering of cows and calves and other milch and draught animals.
Article 48 A , provides protection and preservation and improvement of Environmental needs and safeguarding of forest and wildlife , and also it states that the state shall make efforts for the protection and safeguarding the environment in th forest and wildlife.
The Fundamental Duties to Each and Every Citizen of India under Part IVA of the Indian Constitution imposes obligations on citizens under Article 51(g) to safeguard , preserve , maintain and improve the natural environment
The Constitution of India also imposes a power on the parliament and the legislatures of states under Article 246 read with Seventh Schedule of the Constitution to make laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals and the protection of wild animals and birds.
Under Article 243G read with Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution authorizes the Panchayat to make laws on Animal husbandry, dairying, and poultry.
Article 243W read with Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution, provides provisions for the Municipalities to make laws and regulations for cattle pounds and the prevention of cruelty to animals.
PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMAL ACT ,1960
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was approved to prevent the administrating of unnecessary harm and cruelty to animals. It is animal-specific legislation.
It also provides provisions for prohibiting and preventing any person from appealing any animal to any kind of fighting or shooting competition. The Act makes it mandatory for the owner of an animal to provide sufficient food, shelter, and care to them.
THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT , 1972
It was approved with the main aim or objective to protect and preserve the wildlife animals and prevent the illegal trade and smuggling of wildlife animals and the illegal activities which humans make animals do. It also protects the endangered species of the planet mother earth
Convention on Migrating Species (CMS) is an environmental pact of the United Nations that provides a platform for the protection and conservation of migrating animals and their habitats. India is a party to this treaty too.
Besides various legislations and treaties, our judiciary plays an active and important role in the protection and preservation of animal rights and welfare in India.
Animal Welfare Board of India vs. Nagaraja & Ors.
In this case, the Honorable Supreme Court of India favored for Animal welfare Board (AWBI) and imposes a ban on Jallikattu (festival ). It also held that Article 51A(g) of the constitution of India is the Magna Carta of animal rights in India, and also extends to the right to life under Article 21 of the constitution, to every living being including the Animals.
Abdul Hakim Qureshi vs. the State of Bihar
In this case, The Honorable Supreme Court held that a complete ban on cow did not violate any religious freedom of Muslims. Article 48 of the constitution only applies to cows, calves, and other animals that have the potential or power of yielding milk or have the capacity to work as drought and not all cows or cattle.
Gauri Maulekhi vs. State of Uttarkhand and Ors.
In this case, The court held that unnecessary pain and suffering cannot be imposed on any animal even for consumption. It infringes the provisions of section 11(3) (e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
As per a report by PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals), approximately more than hundred million animals suffer and die every year due to drug, food, cosmetics, and medicinal experiments.
Laterwards, the issue of animal cruelty has gained worldwide attention and has been taken seriously by the Government of India. The government has taken some strong actions and initiatives to make the country a Cruelty-free nation.
Government Initiatives such as :
Ban on Captive Dolphin Shows
Ban on imports of animal-tested cosmetics
Jet Airways Commits To Protecting Shark Population And Marine Eco-System
WILDLIFE COSERVATION INITIATIVES BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
In India, wildlife animals are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Wildlife conservation projects were initiated to protect and preserve the declining status of various extinct animals.
To protect and conserve the wildlife, to protect the biodiversity, to protect the ecological stability, and to maintain the ecosystem the Government of India has invested in various conservation projects.
Some of them are as follows:
PROJECT TIGER :
In the year 1972, the Government of India initiated the wildlife conservation project called project tiger.Not only has it contributed to tiger conservation, but it has also contributed to the entire ecosystem as a whole.. This project is actually patroned by the ministry of environment forest and climate change.
There is around 48 tiger reserve situated in more than 17 regions in India and they are involved in the assessment of the numbers of the tigers and their habitat and the other activities. For the proper functioning and systematic form of the project, the national board for wildlife recommended setting up a task force named a tiger task force to look after the matter across the country.
In the year 1992, the Government of India initiated a project called project elephant to conserve and protect the elephants and their habitats and their development in different ways. It also considers the matters which relate to human and elephant conflicts and also strengthens and protects the elephants from death occurring unnaturally.
There are some Some of the instances of Barbarous treatment towards animals are given below:
A very recent case
KILLING OF A PREGNANT ELEPHANT IN KERELA :
In April 2020, a 10-year-old female elephant at Pathanapuram in Kollam district in Kerala was killed by the villagers. They had stuffed firecrackers or some kind of explosives in pineapple and left it to protect their field from wild animals. But unfortunately, the female elephant fell into their trap and died, Though it was a heinous act towards wild animals the innocent elephant got trapped which was the topic that runs throughout the Country.
MEDICAL STUDENT THREW A DOG OFF THE TERRACE IN CHENNAI:
In July 2016, a student from Madha Medical College in Chennai threw a 5-month-old dog from the rooftop of the college and made a video of that incident which we cannot call an incident this was a Heinous act towards animals, and Which they got uploaded it on YouTube for fun.
Many such incidents are happening all over the country every day with animals, though these never come to know publicly as it hampers the feelings of people and impact of such acts put an adverse effect on people, so the awareness towards animals is necessary to be created, protection steps are to be taken amongst the individuals and should work for the betterment of the animals.
Animal legislation in India was enacted many decades ago but is not suitable according to the present socio-economic conditions of society. The Animal rights activists and several Non-Governmental Organizations have been fighting for the amendments of animal legislation in India but no effective action has been taken so far by the authorities, for the benefits of animals.
Moreover, it is our responsibility as a human as an individual under the article 51A (g) of the Constitution of India to protect and preserve animal rights. The courts have played a crucial role in protecting the rights of animals by broadening the scope of Article 21 of the constitution of India.
Using animals for religious sacrifice or entertainment or any other activities which amount to cruelty to animals should be strictly avoided and should be made punishable under the law. Every such activity should be strictly investigated by the Animal welfare board, Government, courts, and NGOs. Animal lives are not at the clemency of humans and we must co-exist in peace.