PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT, 1960
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, being India’s first animal welfare law, was enacted in 1960 with the aim of preventing unnecessary pain or suffering being inflicted towards animals and to amend the laws regarding prevention of cruelty to animals. This act includes exceptions for treatment of animals used for food and scientific experiment purposes. Also, this act established the Animal Welfare Board of India for in order to ensure the enforcement of the provisions of the said act.
Under Section 2(a), any living creature which is not a human being is an animal.
Under Section 2(c), Captive animal refers to any animal (not a domestic animal) which is in restrain or confinement or is subjected to any contrivance for the purpose of preventing its escape from the said restrain or confinement. It also includes animals which are under constrain or appear to be injured permanently.
Under Section 2(d), Domestic animal refers any animal which is tamed to serve some purpose for the use of man. It also includes animals which have been wholly or partly tamed but has not been intended to be tamed.
Phooka or Doom dev–
Under Section 2(g), phooka or doom dev is the process of introducing air or any other substance into the female organ of a dairy animal with the intention of drawing off any production of milk from that animal.
ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA-
Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body established under Section 4, of this act by the Central Government for the purpose of preventing animals from being subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering.
According to Section 9 of the PCA Act, 1960, the following are the functions of the Animal Welfare Board-
- To prevent the Cruelty towards animals by keeping the law governing the same under regular study. Also, to advice the Government of India regarding the amendments to be made in such law.
- To advise the Central Government on making of rules under this Act in order to prevent unnecessary pain or suffering from being inflicted towards animals generally. Specifically, when they are being transported from one place to another or are being used as performing animals or are kept in captivity or confinement.
- To advise the Government or any local authority or other person regarding the improvements in vehicle design in order to reduce the burden on draught animals.
- To encourage or provide for the construction of sheds, water-troughs and provide for veterinary assistance to animals.
- To advise the Government, any local authority or any other person in design of slaughter houses, slaughter house maintenance or in relation to slaughter of animals in order to eliminate unnecessary pain or suffering (physical or mental) in the pre-slaughter stages. Also, animals are killed, if necessary, in a humane manner.
- To take all necessary steps to ensure the destruction of unwanted animals by local authorities, whenever necessary, either instantaneously or after being rendered insensible to pain or suffering.
- To encourage the establishment of rescue homes, animal shelters and sanctuaries so that the animals and birds find a shelter when they get old or when they are in need of protection by means of granting of financial assistance.
- To co-operate and co-ordinate with the work of associations or bodies that are established to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering to animals or for the protection of animals and birds.
- To give financial or any other assistance to animal welfare organizations that function in any local area or to encourage the formation of animal welfare organizations in any local area that shall work under the Board’s guidance.
- To advise the Government on matters related to the medical care and attention that may be provided in animal hospital. Also, to give assistance, be it financial or any other assistance to animal hospitals whenever the Board deems necessary.
- To impart education in favour of humane treatment of animals and to encourage public opinion against unnecessary pain or suffering inflicted towards animals and for the promotion of animal welfare through lectures, books, posters and cinematographic exhibitions.
- To advise the Government on matters of animal welfare or preventing unnecessary pain or suffering from being inflicted towards animals.
GENERAL CRUELTY TOWARDS ANIMALS-
Under section 11 of this Act, a person shall be punishable under this act if that person does any of the following-
- Beats, kicks, over-rides, over-loads, tortures or subjects any animal to unnecessary pain or suffering or permits (being the owner) or causes any animal to be treated in the said manner.
- Employs any animal for any purpose which by the reason of its age, disease, infirmity, wound, sore or any other reason is unfit to be employed for the said purpose. Also, if the person, being the owner permits any such animal to be so employed.
- Willfully and unreasonably administers any drug or injurious substance to any animal or even causes or attempts to cause any animal to take any such drug or substance.
- Subjects any animal to unnecessary pain or suffering by carrying it whether in or upon any vehicle.
- Confines any animal in a cage or receptacle, the measurement of which is insufficient in height, length and breadth to allow the animal reasonable room and opportunity for movement.
- Keeps any animal chained or tethered upon an unreasonably short or heavy chain or cord for unreasonable amount of time.
- As the owner of the animal, fails to provide the said animal with sufficient food, drink or shelter.
- Abandons any animal in conditions which increase the likelihood of such animal suffering from pain by the reason of starvation or thirst.
- Willingly allows any animal, as the owner of that animal, to go at large in any street while the animal is suffering from contagious or infectious disease. Also, if that person permits any such animal suffering from any such disease to die in any street.
- Possesses or offers for sale any animal suffering from pain due to maiming, starvation, overcrowding, thirst or ill-treatment without any reasonable cause.
- Kills or mutilates by using strychnine injections in the heart or in any other unreasonable manner.
- Confines or causes the confinement of any animal with the intention of using it as a prey for any other animal with the sole view of providing entertainment. Also, incites animal fights or baits any other animal with the sole view of entertainment.
- Organises or manages any place that facilitates animal fighting or Permits or offers any place to used for such purpose. Also, if that person receives money for admitting any other person to a place where such activities are carried out.
- Promotes or takes part in any competition that involves shooting of animals that are released from confinement.
The provisions of Section 11 do not apply to the following—
- Dehorning of cattle, sterilization, branding or nose-roping of any animal in the prescribed manner.
- By prescribed methods, destruction of stray dogs in lethal chambers.
- Destruction of any animal under authority of such law for the time being in force.
Punishment– If it the first offence committed by a person, he shall be imposed with a fine ranging from ten rupees to fifty rupees. In case of a second offence committed within three years of the first offence, a fine ranging from twenty-five rupees to hundred rupees shall be imposed or imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with both.
EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS-
Under Section 14, the provisions of this Act do not make unlawful the experiments and operations on animals done for the purpose of discovering knowledge which is useful for saving, prolonging life, reducing suffering or for battling any disease in humans, plants or animals.
Under Section 15(1), the Government may constitute a committee to control and supervise experiments on animals by notification in the official gazette.
Section 19 gives the said committee the power to prohibit experiments on animals if the Committee is satisfied by any inspection report or if the rules made by it are not being followed. The Committee may give an opportunity of being heard to the person or institution carrying the experiment. Also, the committee may prohibit the institution from carrying on any such experiments either for a particular period or indefinitely or may allow the institution to carry on such experiments subject to such specific conditions.
Punishment– Section 20 provides for the penalty regarding experimentation on animals. If any person breaches any order of the Committee under section 19 or commits a breach of any condition imposed by the Committee under the same section, that person shall be punishable with fine up to two hundred rupees. But when the breach has been committed by any institution the in charge of the institution shall be punished accordingly.
Section 22 of the act imposes restriction on exhibition any training of performing animals. This Section that no performing animal shall be exhibited or trained unless it is registered in accordance with the provisions of this act. Also, the Central Government may specify if a particular animal shall not be exhibited or trained as a performing animal.
Section 26 provides for the offences regarding performing animals. A person is said to have committed an offence under this Section if that person-
- Exhibits or trains any performing animal but is not registered under this act
- Is registered under the Act, however, exhibits or trains a performing animal to which he is not registered.
- exhibits or trains any animal the exhibition of which is restricted under Section 22 of this Act
- Obstructs or delays any person or police officer from the exercise of their powers in relation to entry and inspection
- Conceals any animal with the intention of avoiding inspection.
- Is registered under the said Act and is required to produce his certificate under this Act, but fails to do so without a reasonable excuse.
- Applies registration under this Act even when not entitled to do so,
Punishment– For committing any of the offences under Section 26 shall be punishable with a fine upto five hundred rupees or imprisonment which may extend to three months, or with both.
The Protection of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 does provide for certain provision which prevent the infliction of pain and suffering upon animals. However, the said act requires a number reinforcements through the means of amendments. The provisions of the the Act need to be updated for it to efficiently govern the prevention of cruelty towards animals.
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