Animal cruelty is rampant in India. Every day animals go through trauma, neglect, violence, beating, torture, bestiality, killing, or get run over by vehicles. A report by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations stated that out of 2400 cases of animal cruelty, every second case was a brutal act of violence.
One might feel that these inhuman acts of violence would invite a lofty punishment as the harm done to animal life is irreparable. But unfortunately, most of the perpetrators can get away with a fine of just Rs 50. At the same time, inhuman acts against human life are penalised with a long period of imprisonment or death sentence in extreme cases. So what is the reason for the difference in approach between human life and animal life? The answer lies in the provisions of a more than 60 years old law – the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA).
Animal rights activists have been urging stern punishments for acts of cruelty against animals. Thus, finally bringing reform to the PCA Act. It’s finally time to hear the wails and cries of animals and make urgent amends for their right to live with a sense of safety and security.
The Narendra Modi led government finally took some steps in conducting dialogue and consultations to amend the law. But that passion eventually died as the amendments were not made during the Parliament’s winter session in 2021. Thus, we continue to rely on the 1960 Act which charges a mere fine for invaluable animal life. At the same time, the act contradicts the Indian Constitution which states that the fundamental ‘Right to Life’ includes all forms of life, including animal life. It attaches intrinsic worth, honour, and dignity to life. This elucidates that animal life holds intrinsic value and shouldn’t be seen as a way of fulfilling the selfish purpose of humanity.
It’s a wake-up call to bring strict amendments to the PCA Act. A mandatory prison sentence for gruesome acts against animal life should be enforced on an immediate basis. This would act as a strong deterrent against such brutality. The loopholes in law need to be fixed to save animals and make the world a better place for our furry friends. Other countries have created stricter norms for animal safety and protection. For example, in the UAE, people found guilty of harming animals have to pay a heavy fine and in some cases are imprisoned for a year.
There is a dire need to act now to stop violence against animals. Just like us, animals have their inherent dignity and the right to live peacefully.