Know the Rights of Animals under Indian Law
It is vital to be familiar with the rights given to animals when you encounter people acting cruelly, or when filing an FIR reporting cruelty with the police.
To learn about your rights as animal caretaker, visit Know Your Rights.
These are the most powerful laws in place which protect animals, and how to use them:
Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code
States that the punishment for killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless any animal or animals of the value of ten rupees or upwards are simple or rigorous imprisonment for up to two years, or with a fine, or with both.
Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code
States that the punishment for killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless any animal or animals of the value of fifty rupees or upwards (which automatically includes all cattle/beasts of burden) are simple or rigorous imprisonment for up to five years, or with a fine, or with both.
The Wildlife Protection Act (1972)
Prohibits injury to any wild animal or trees under section 39.
"Animals" include amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals and their young. In the case of bird and reptiles, even their eggs are included in this category. The exceptions are those classified as "vermin" defined in Section V. Each state has it's own list of non-human animals considered vermin.
The penalty for the person guilty of an offence under this Act is imprisonment for a term of three years, or with fine of twenty-five thousand rupee, or with both. In a second offence, the term of imprisonment will be seven years with fine of ten thousand rupees.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
The definition of cruelty is defined under Section 11 (a) to (o). This includes (but is not limited to):
- cruelty against the person's own pet
- inhumane slaughter
- inhumane transportation
- inhhumane living conditions (even for animals destined for slaughter)
- tail docking
- ear docking.
The offender will have to pay fine which shall extend to fifty rupees. If it is the case of second offence, he will be fined with not less than twenty-five rupees but which may extend to one hundred rupees or with the imprisonment for up to three months or with both.
Any illegal killing or cruelty towards an animal should be reported to the local police station and a F.I.R. should be filed against the offender.
If the killing or cruelty is inacted upon an animal not owned by the offender, refer to Section 428/429 of the Indian Penal code and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960).
If the killing or cruelty is inacted upon an animal owned by the offender, refer to The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960).
If the animal is a wild animal not defined as "vermin" by the state, or if the person is killing or injuring an animal defined as a vermin in an illegal/inhumane way, refer to The Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960)