CRUELTY TO ANIMALS: GUIDELINES FOR GREY HOUND RACES IN VIOLATION OF SUPREME COURT ORDER- ALLEGES ANIMAL BOARD
Compassion for all, including animals has been advocated in India which is a land of saints and seers where we daily pray for ‘Welfare of all beings’- ‘Sarbat Da Bhala & Sarve Bhavantu Sukhin’.However, despite the fact that India has already down the best provisions of law for the protections of animals and their rights, certain fanatical still take delight in torturing animals by ditching them in unusual sports in gross violation of these laws. Many a courts judgments too have given relief to animals-courtesy animal lovers.
The officers at the helm of the administrative machinery also succumb to such animal sports fanatics to grant them permission either due to poor knowledge of law or the political pressure .Going rounds in social media is a case of permission given by a District Magistrate to Conduct Grey Hound Races in Shri Mukatsar Sahib (India) on 17/11/2020.Taking cognizance of the permission granted The Animal Welfare Board Of India has written to the Chief Secretary Punjab (highest bureaucratic authority) against this and have also made their pain public.
Vide letter no 9/2020-2021/PCA dated 07/12/2020 Animal Welfare Board of India has written to Chief Secretary, Director Animal Husbandry, Govt. of Punjab reg. Formation of Guidelines for Grey Hound races in violation of Supreme Court order.
It has taken a note of permission by District Magistrate to Conduct Grey Hound Races in Shri Mukatsar Sahib on 17/11/2020.
Secretary of Animal Welfare Board of India Dr SK Dutta has asked that this is in Violation of Supreme Court Judgment dated 07/05/2014 in A. Nagraja v/s Animal Welfare Board of India & others .
He has written this in context to complaint by Ms Suman Virwani and mentioned that conduct of such races is in violation of various Sections of Prevention of Cruelty and Rules there under.
Dr Dutta informed that formation of Rules and giving permission to conduct races amount to contempt of Orders of Supreme Court and asked the Govt. to withdraw such Guidelines to grant permission to conduct such Races.
The copy of letter has been sent to DGP Punjab,Chairman,Animal Welfare Board of India, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Commissioner of Police Ludhiana, Ms Suman Virwani, Dr Sandeep K Jain( Hony.State Animal Welfare Officer,Pb(AWBI).
The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country. Established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (No. 59 of 1960), the Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian. From ensuring that animal welfare laws in the country are diligently followed, to provide grants to Animal Welfare Organizations and advising the Government of India on animal welfare issues, the Board has been the face of the animal welfare movement in the country for the last 50 years.The Board consists of 28 Members. The term of office of Members is for a period of 3 years.
INDIAN LAWS FOR PROTECTION OF ANIMALS AT A GLANCE :
- It is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures. Article 51A(g).
- To kill or maim any animal, including stray animals, is a punishable offence. IPC Sections 428 and 429.
- Abandoning any animal for any reason can land you in prison for up to three months. Section 11(1)(i) and Section 11(1)(j), PCA Act, 1960.
- No animal (including chickens) can be slaughtered in any place other than a slaughterhouse. Sick or pregnant animals shall not be slaughtered. Rule 3, of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Slaughterhouse) Rules, 2001 and Chapter 4, Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011.
- Stray dogs that have been operated for birth control cannot be captured or relocated by anybody including any authority. ABC Rules, 2001.
- Neglecting an animal by denying her sufficient food, water, shelter and exercise or by keeping him chained/confined for long hours is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to 3 months or both. Section 11(1)(h), PCA Act, 1960.
- Monkeys are protected under the Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972 and cannot be displayed or owned.
- 8. Bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls are prohibited from being trained and used for entertainment purposes, either in circuses or streets. Section 22(ii), PCA Act, 1960.
- Animal sacrifice is illegal in every part of the country. Rule 3, Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001.
- Organizing of or participating in or inciting any animal fight is a cognizable offence. Section 11(1)(m)(ii) and Section 11(1)(n), PCA Act, 1960.
- Cosmetics tested on animals and the import of cosmetics tested on animals is banned. Rules 148-C and 135-B of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
- Teasing, feeding or disturbing the animals in a zoo and littering the zoo premises is an offence punishable by a fine of Rs. 25000 or imprisonment of up to three years or both. Section 38J, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
- 13. Capturing, trapping, poisoning or baiting of any wild animal or even attempting to do so is punishable by law, with a fine of up to Rs. 25000 or imprisonment of up to seven years or both. Section 9, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Disturbing or destroying eggs or nests of birds and reptiles or chopping a tree having nests of such birds and reptiles or even attempting to do so constitutes to hunting and attracts a punishment of a fine of up to Rs. 25000, or imprisonment of up to seven years or both. Section 9, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Conveying or carrying animals whether in or upon any vehicle, in any manner or position which causes discomfort, pain or suffering is a punishable offence under two Central Acts. Section 11(1)(d) Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Transport of Animal) Rules, 2001 and Motor Vehicles Act 1978.