Did you know that our Constitution demands that we show compassion to animals? Yes, that‘s right. It also says that neglecting an animal can risk arrest and imprisonment, without a warrant. They are not perfect and have a long way to go — especially for the fine levied on s/he who harms an animal. But here are some important laws an animal-lover must know
- According to Article 51A (g) of the Constitution of India, it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to have compassion for all living creatures.
- Any person who threatens or intimidates someone taking care of dogs can be arrested without a warrant for Criminal Intimidation under Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
- To kill or maim any animal valued at ten rupees or above, including stray animals, is a punishable offence under IPC Sections 428 and 429.
- When stray dogs undergo surgery for birth control, they cannot be captured or relocated. This applies to both people, as well as organisations, as well as NGOs under IPC Section 11(3)(b) and Section 11(3)(c) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 .
- Neglecting an animal by denying sufficient food, water, shelter or exercise, or by keeping them chained or confined for long hours is punishable by imprisonment of up to three months or fine — or both — according to Section 11(1) [(e), (g), (h) and (i)] of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- Disturbing or destroying eggs or nests of birds, reptiles, or chopping a tree that has nests or reptiles — or even attempting to do so — constitutes hunting. This is punishable by imprisonment up to seven year or a fine of Rs 25,000, or both under Section 9 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- Even transporting animals in any manner that causes discomfort, pain or suffering is a punishable offence. This comes under two Central Acts Section 11 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the Transport of Animal Rules, 2001, as well as the Motor Vehicles Act 1978.
- Furthermore, its is a criminal offence to intentionally and willfully poison stray animals. Anyone caught doing so can be charged under Section 11(c) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Kalpaja Kamdar is a lawyer by education but a dog trainer & behaviourist by profession and passion