Author: Bhavya Dayal

Humans frequently forget that the pain and feelings that animals experience are the same feelings that humans experience when subjected to the same level of cruelty, abuse, and torture. Animals are treated as a commodity in India. Countless dogs, monkeys, and other animals are burned, buried, cut open, poisoned, starved, and drugged every day across the country for economic reasons, convenience, and other old habits. It is past time for us to ask ourselves, “Do we have the right to imprison and harm other sentient beings?”

What are the Laws that Protect the Animals?

The Indian Constitution
The Directive Principles of State Policy

Part IV- Article 48 and 48A[1]– The state shall take steps to preserve and improve breeds, prohibit animal slaughter, and protect and improve the country’s environment and wildlife.

Part IVA- Article 51A (g)[2] – Fundamental Duties Every Indian citizen has a fundamental responsibility to improve the natural environment, which includes wildlife and to be compassionate toward all living creatures.

The Indian Penal Code 1860

Section 428[3] states that causing mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering any animal or animals worth ten rupees or more is punishable by imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, or both.

Section 429[4]– Mischief committed by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering any animal or animals worth fifty rupees or more is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine, or both.

Animal Cruelty Prevention Act of 1960

The primary goal of this Act is to prevent any form of animal suffering or torture, as well as to make necessary changes to the country’s animal protection laws.[5]

The 1972 Wild Life (Protection) Act

A comprehensive piece of legislation governing sanctuaries and zoos with the goal of protecting animals and their natural habitats. The Act’s primary goal is to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and other derivative parts.[6]

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960[7]

The following have been laid down as forms of cruelty under Section 11 of the Act:

  • Beating, kicking, over-riding, over-loading, torturing, or otherwise inflicting unnecessary pain or suffering on any animal.
  • Using an animal that is injured or unfit for the job.
  • Giving any harmful drug or substance to an animal.
  • Carrying any animal in a vehicle in a way or position that causes unnecessary pain or suffering.
  • Keeping an animal confined in a cage with insufficient space for movement.
  • Keeping a chained animal for an unreasonable amount of time.
  • Being the owner and confining the animal with no opportunity for exercise.
  • Being the owner and failing to provide adequate food, water, and shelter for the animal.
  • Abandoning any animal in any circumstance without a reasonable reason is likely to cause pain due to starvation and thirst.
  • Allowing the owned animal to be abandoned on the streets or allowing it to die of disease, old age, or disability.
  • Offering for sale an animal in pain as a result of mutilation, starvation, thirst, overcrowding, or other mistreatment.
  • Mutilating or killing any animal (including stray animals) through the use of strychnine injections in the heart or any other inhumane method.
  • Confining an animal solely for the purpose of making it prey for other animals or inciting an animal to fight for the sole purpose of entertainment.
  • Organizing, maintaining, and using any location for animal fighting or for the purpose of baiting any animal, or offering such a location in exchange for money. 
  • Promoting or participating in any shooting match or competition in which animals are released from captivity to be shot down.
Other Laws Protecting Animals in India
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001[8], prohibit the slaughter of animals in the country except in recognised or licenced houses. No person has the right to slaughter any animal in a municipal area other than in a slaughterhouse recognised or licenced by the authority in power under the law.
  • No pregnant animal shall be slaughtered. No one who children who are less than three months old. Is not deemed fit for slaughter by a veterinary doctor.
  • The maximum number of animals that can be slaughtered in a day shall be determined by the municipal or other local authority designated by the Central Government based on the local population of the area in which the slaughterhouse is located.
  • Rule 148-C of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945[9] prohibits the testing of cosmetics on any animals—no one has the right to use animals for cosmetic testing.
  • Teasing, feeding, or disturbing the animals in a zoo, or littering the premises, are punishable by imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of Rs 25000, or both, under Section 38J of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.[10]
  • The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 makes it illegal to hunt any of the animals listed in Schedules I, II, III, and IV. Killing animals under Schedule I will result in a 7-year prison sentence and a Rs 25000 fine.[11]
Laboratories’ Working Conditions

When we consider the conditions of the country’s labs, we can see why a self-policing system does not work. For example, a few years ago, the Committee of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) ordered the confiscation of 37 monkeys from the National Virology in Pune after they had been abused for years. Animals have also been confiscated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi University, the Jai Research Foundation (Ahmedabad), and Bengal Chemicals (Kolkata). In all of these cases, universities and research labs violated CPCSEA rules, and the animals were discovered to be living in deplorable conditions without adequate food and water. The majority of the animals were unable to stand, and some had injuries such as missing body parts.

A Recent Legal Development

The government has prepared a draught that will amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 so that anyone inflicting pain or killing an animal will no longer be able to get away with a Rs 50 fine. A person or organisation that causes the death of any animal will face a fine of up to Rs 75000, or three times the cost of the animal, or imprisonment for a term of five years, or both, according to a recent amendment. While the current law imposes fines ranging from Rs 10- Rs 50 for various types of cruelty, the new draught has been divided into three categories: minor injury, major injury, and death of the animal, with fines ranging from Rs 750- Rs 75000 and imprisonment for a term of up to five years depending on the offence.[12]


Despite the fact that changes are being made to protect animals in India, we continue to hear about new cases of animal cruelty on a daily basis. This is due to a lack of efficacy in recognising animal rights and the inability to prescribe an effective measure to protect these animals’ basic rights. To protect the animals, strict laws that impose severe punishments and do not allow the offender to escape should be enforced.

[1] Part IV- Article 48 and 48A The Directive Principles of State Policy

[2] Part IVA- Article 51A (g) The Directive Principles of State Policy

[3] Section 428 The Indian Penal Code 1860

[4] Section 429 The Indian Penal Code 1860

[5] Animal Cruelty Prevention Act of 1960

[6] Wild Life Act, 1972

[7] Section 11 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960

[8] Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Rules, 2001

[9] Rule 148-C of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945

[10] Section 38J of the Wild Life Act, 1972.

[11] Section 38J of the Wild Life, 1972.

[12] 2021 Vishwa Mohan / TNN / Updated: Feb 6, Cruelty to animals may soon Attract rs 75,000 Fine, 5-year JAIL: India news – times of India The Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cruelty-to-animals-may-soon-attract-rs-75000-fine-5-year-jail/articleshow/80716285.cms#:~:text=The%20government%20has%20prepared%20a,leads%20to%20an%20animal’s%20death. (last visited Aug 14, 2021).