Bruno was a black Labrador who was beaten to death by two juveniles and a youth on 28th June 2021 at the Adimalathura beach in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala High Court took suo motu cognizance of this brutal killing and renamed the case “In Re: Bruno” to pay tribute to the dog who had to suffer gross human cruelty. Cases of animal cruelty keep coming from across the country, at least 5 animals die every day in India but the actual figure would be 10 times higher because of lack of reporting. The majority of the people do not even know the crimes they are committing and others do not know they can report it under a law. More than that nobody seems to know the freedom animals have. This article will talk about the freedoms for the animals, the Act that prevents this cruelty, and the reasons for said cruelty.
Freedoms for Animals
India is a part of the World Health Organization of Animal Health (OIE), which is responsible for animal health and welfare. It says that an animal is in a good state of welfare if it is comfortable, healthy, safe, well-nourished, and able to express its innate behaviour, and is not suffering from pain fear, and distress. Chapter 7.1.2 of the guidelines of OIE recognizes five freedoms for animals:
- Freedom from hunger, thirst, and malnutrition
- Freedom from fear and distress
- Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury, and disease
- Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour
These rights were reaffirmed in the case of Animal Welfare Board of India v A. Nagaraja and Others (2014) 7 SCC 547.
Under Article 51A(g) of the Constitution, it is the fundamental duty of the citizens of India to have compassion for living creatures, this was reaffirmed in State of Gujarat v Mirzapur Moti Kureshi Kassab Jamat and Others (2005) 8 SCC 534.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 aims to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering on animals.
- Section 3 makes it the duty of the person in the care of the animal to ensure its well-being.
- Section 4 establishes the Animals Welfare Board of India whose duty is to protect animals.
- Section 11 specifies the types of cruelty to animals such as beating, kicking, torturing, employing an unfit animal, administering injurious drugs, confining an animal in a cage, keeping an animal chained for a long time, failing to provide the animal with food or drink (in cases where you are the owner), abandoning the animal with no reasonable reason.
Why do people abuse animals?
Many cases of animal cruelty that we get to see are the big ones where the animals are abused to the extent that they die or need emergency surgeries. But that’s not the only kind of abuse these animals suffer, there are many cases of such cruelty that take place behind closed doors which we know now include even starving your pets. Various reasons have been noted for such behaviour:
- The owner lacks control in some aspect of their life and tries to gain control by abusing the animal as it is helpless.
- Many cases of domestic abuse are accompanied by animal cruelty where the abuser abuses the animal to show the abusee what they are capable of.
- In certain situations, it takes place because of peer pressure where the kids try to hit the dogs with stones to show they are cool and courageous.
- A lot of times it is because of displacement, a defense mechanism where you are angry at some person but because you can’t take out your anger on them, you target someone less threatening and helpless.
- And the most horrifying reason is where people enjoy causing pain to the animals, this condition is usually related to some psychological disorder and these people hold the chance to hurt people also.
Animals are living creatures and they deserve equal respect from humans, they have the right to live a painless life and it is our duty to give it to them. If you ever see any situation of animal cruelty, you can file an FIR at your nearest police station, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.