We often see on the streets people thrashing the animals, behaving very badly with them as if they have done something wrong by taking birth in this society. People don’t want to consider them as a part of this society and treat them as enemy. But, when we delve into this issue, we will find that without animals one cannot imagine a balanced ecosystem so the government with its different policies and acts endeavour to protect the animals and pledge to work for their welfare.
It is the psyche of people which has drastically changed over a period time towards animals. If we compare the condition of animals in India with the developed nation, we will find many dissimilarities in the way they deal with animals. Animals laws in the country are not properly implemented. Everyone turned callous for the welfare of animal and they prefer their own interest they didn’t bother about the environment. The constitution framers had kept the idea of animal rights in their mind which becomes evident when several articles of fundamental duty say it’s the duty of citizen to protect and safeguard animals and work for their welfare. The International Convention for Protection of Animals is also one of the results when the responsible human being realised that the emerging need to protect the animals from brutal killing, proper treatment and conducive environment should be provided to them, companion of the animal should be protected for their life continuity. On similar grounds, Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed intergovernmental agreement to consider that animals are sentient, to prevent cruelty and to reduce the suffering, if this declaration is endorsed by united nation it becomes nonbinding set of principles that accepts the importance of sentience of animals and human responsibilities towards them . the principle proposes to enact legislation for welfare of animals.
In India the existing milieu for animals does not cater to the proposed and expected results in terms of their treatment by the people. The concerned authorities are reluctant to the implementation of rules that protect animals from being exploited. According to a report by Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in span of five years 19,028 animal cruelty cases were recorded but there were no arrest and conviction. As per the act of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 cruelty to pets and animals is a punishable offence, but it levies a fine of meagre 10 to 100 rupees due to which this act is not acting as a deterrent. The other issue like lack veterinary facilities makes the situation pathetic. In megacity like Mumbai most veterinary facility is private whose sole aim is profit making. For veterinary facilities the state animal husbandry department furnish 10% fund and rest is used for agriculture. According to PETA, (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) people buy animals just as a symbol, or as a toy and in some cases, they abuse them for their own entertainment. They consider them as the source of entertainment. In the remote areas of the country conditions is even worst for the animals, they were subjected to brutality by their owners, lot of dogs are killed on national highways and their corpse decomposes on highways. The condition is grim in villages were veterinary facilities are not available it makes the situation worse, it impacts the life of a farmer whose cattle didn’t get proper treatment from an experienced doctor and the productivity of cattle and income of farmers deteriorates.
INDIAN CONSTITUTION ON PROTECTION OF ANIMALS
● The Constitution of India consider welfare of animals by providing several sections which vividly envisages the duty of responsible citizen of the country to look after the animals. it is compassionate for the rights of animals.
● Article 51(A) (G) of the constitution makes it fundamental duty for every citizen to protect wildlife and have affinity towards them.
● Article 48 prohibits slaughter of cows and calves and other milk and draught cattle, but this is not legally enforceable as it contradicts the right to freedom.
● Article 48A also envisage that state has duty to protect, preserve and improve the wildlife and forest.
● Article 243(G) under eleventh schedule provide rights to gram panchayat institution to look into the farm forestry, animal husbandry and poultry farming.
LAWS FOR PROTECTION OF ANIMALS
PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT,1960
The act was enacted by Indian parliament in 1960 for protecting animals from unnecessary infliction of pain and suffering. According to provisions of the law, AWBI (Animal welfare board of India) is formed. From then series of amendments has taken place in this act in the recent development ministry of environment, forest and climate change has released four new gazette notification under the PCA,1960 to regulate dog breeders, animals, and aquarium and pet fish owners. the rules are prevention of cruelty animals (dog breeding and marketing rules) Regulation of livestock market rules aquarium and fish tank animals’ rules, care and maintenance of case property animals’ rules 2017.
WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT,1972
This is an act enacted by parliament for protection of plant and animal species. This act came as a panacea for the wild animals as it protects them from brutal killing, unwanted sufferings , hostile treatment by people, poachers and hunters were taken to task after this act. This act envisions the importance of wildlife and put forward a framework on which the coming generation has to build their further work to protect the environment. This act specially classifies the national park as an area of interest for the wildlife animals and the species residing there. This act focuses on protecting the flora and fauna of the country as they are important for the survival of ecosystem.
LAWS PERTAINING TO STREET ANIMALS
The inhumane activities like killing, torturing, thrashing any animal is punishable offence under section 428 of the Indian penal code, 1860 and accused may be punished upto 2 years or imprisonment or both. Under section 429 of Indian penal code ,1860 the term is 5 years and is applicable when the cost of animal is 50 or above.
Animal(dogs) protection rule, 2001 provides rules pertaining to pet and street dogs.
LAWS PERTAINING TO WILD ANIMALS
Under the aegis of wildlife protection act,1972 wild animals are protected from hunting, poaching, trapping, poisoning or harming. It has given incentives for establishment of wildlife advisory boards which gives innovative ideas for the welfare and improvement of wildlife in the country. This act is garnered with sections which specifically envisage severe and exemplary punishment for the violation of this act.
Some of them are listed below:
● According to section 2(37) of the act, wildlife includes any animal, aquatic, or land vegetation which forms part of the habitat, thus making the definition wide and inclusive one.
● Section 9 of the act prevents hunting of any animal envisaged in schedule 1,2,3,4 and punishes the offender with imprisonment of 3 years and fine upto 25,000/- or with both
● The act permits the central or state govt to declare any area a restricted one for wildlife sanctuary or national park and carrying out any kind of industrial activity ids prohibited if any builder or industrialists do so, he has to bore the brunt of heavy penalties.
RECENT TRENDS OF HUNTING AND POACHING OF WILDLIFE ANIMALS
TIGER POACHING IN SARISKA
Sariska tiger reserve is one of the national parks in Rajasthan were tiger strength has reduced because of poaching. The tiger has been wiping out from this park which is the result of callous attitude of concerned authorities. But, somehow after launch of project tiger the number sustained and later increased.
RHINO POACHING IN ASSAM
Rhino poaching In Assam is one of the biggest problems and one of the major environmental issue. The national of kaziranga, manas, and orang is the home 95% population of one horned rhino, but the statistics puts a big question mark because they have been killed in large numbers. More than 90 rhinos have been killed since 2013.
ELEPHANT POACHING IN SOUTH
Elephant poaching in south is one of the biggest threats in south Indian states. Ivory hunters have been killing elephants not just in Kerala but in neighbouring states like, Tamil nadu and Karnataka. Till 1995, upto 2,000 elephants mostly tuskers were poached, and 100 elephants have been killed in last 2 years across south India.
LOOPHOLES IN THE WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT,1972
The wildlife protection act,1972 was implemented with an objective to protect rich and diverse flora and fauna in the country. But the data shown by authorities shows that the objective is still not achieved after so many years of implementation of the act. India contains 172 or 2.9% IUCN -designated threatened species. India is party to five major international conventions they are as follows:
● Conservation of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna (CITES)
● International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
● International Whaling Commission (IWC)
● United nation educational, scientific and cultural Organisation- World Heritage Committee (UNESCO-WHC)
● Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
The CITES management authority of India, which is the director of wildlife preservation, under government of India doesn’t have a dedicated cell in his office to follow up the submissions made by the country in CITES conference of the parties and standing committee and to properly attend the communication made by them to ministry.
The WPA,1972 is silent on foreign animal trade through porous border.so the trade in captive animals and trade in tiger parts flourishes with the connivance between ignorant and corrupt officials and traders. The other major issue is migratory species are not protected under WPA,1972 because of low taxonomical data .so they are hunted, and they are easily transported to other countries. Due to lack of consonance between India obligation and domestic legislation in WPA, there exist many loopholes that are exploited by those involve in wildlife. The inadequacy of border control mechanism to check wildlife trafficking has also provided impetus to poachers to use Indo Chinese borders to directly supply animal body parts to china.
The effective measures taken by the government in recent to implement a national level policy on wildlife protection. The government consented to bring the official machinery involved in the forest management under strict vigil with implementation of various reforms. Government consented to develop scientific research on various types of wildlife crime and the ways to counter them. Government also consented to conduct joint operations with official machinery of the other country to arrest the culprits of wildlife crime. Government made resolutions to make the recommendation of international treaties possible on ground.
But, the question standstill that with so many endeavours to accomplish the country need committed pool of individual who staunchly believes in honesty. Change cannot be brought in by the initiative of government it has to be the wholesome approach from citizens to government and the people involved in any ways to a mission. The reforms in wildlife protection can be possible only when the entire system involved in it performs with dedication, discipline and devotion.