Here is everything you need to know about the animal cruelty act and your responsibility as a citizen who witnesses such crimes.
Every state has a specific law that prohibits cruelty to animals. But, a law becomes effective only when it is enforceable. Animals rely on us to protect them from being abused, injured, and harmed. We never know what sudden situation can arise, and you may need to rescue one of them urgently. Therefore, it is crucial to know the laws surrounding the animal cruelty act.
Adoption, volunteering, and donations are a few scenarios that one can contribute to the animals. However, it is not just about giving but also taking responsibility when in need. For instance, if someone witnesses animal cruelty, they should handle the situation carefully. Your one step can prevent the abuser from harming innocent beings.
It can also help save the lives of the victims of such abuse! Animals rely on us for compassion, an essential thing they expect. So take action if you witness abuse, be it neglecting, hurting, physical or mental abuse. It will save their lives and motivate others around them to do the bare minimum.
The prevention of cruelty to animal act
The animal cruelty act came into the picture in 1960. Since then, it has become one of India’s most crucial laws in animal welfare. This act was a decision of Parliament passed on 26 December 1960, and the only vision was to reduce abuse and cruelty to innocent beings!
The main objective of the act is
- Preventing unnecessary pain or suffering to the beings
- Strict standards for establishing the Animal Welfare Board of India
- Giving power, functions, and constitution to the welfare board to take action
- Enshrining the use of experiments on animals for scientific purposes
- Restricting the training or performance of animals in exhibitions and shows
Offenses and penalties:
What is the punishment for animal cruelty in India? Well, first thing first. People often limit animal cruelty to physical abuse only. However, the cruelty to such furry friends is more than this. It also involves neglecting pet animals, driving them away from food, medicine, and water, and keeping the pet in a heated vehicle.
With that, the only online sale of animals is entirely illegal in India. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1960) stipulates a penalty of 3 years in jail or a Rs 25,000 fine. Depending upon the type of offense, the penalties can be both.
Expectation from you as a citizen
You may have witnessed abuse around you. When something like this happens, what is the next step to take? Instead of clicking pictures and posting on social media, make good use of the evidence, and inform the authorities. But, before all that, take action.
Assess the situation
There are cases where animal cruelty looks quite apparent. For example, you see someone beat their pet or stray cat. Another situation can be a chain around a puppy’s neck, which is unacceptable. But, before you take any action, know the exact situation. You may misunderstand a situation.
So, ask the people around you, the neighbors, and witnesses. See, if all come to the same conclusion and there is a genuine case of animal abuse. Cruelty is a vast term, and it also comprises hoarding situations, abandonment, and neglect. Besides, organized animal fighting and leaving a pet in a hot car are all animal cruelty.
Even though your word is enough for filing a report, it will be an added advantage when collecting hard evidence. It starts by writing the factual statement of the date, time, and location. Photography and videography are essential. Also, if you can click a picture of cruelty, it will be helpful.
Evidence of empty water dishes, inadequate shelter, and pets in a car for a long time can be favorable. However, do not put yourself in danger, collect evidence, and not make an aggressive decision. Trespassing on someone else’s property is illegal, so be sure of your move.
Get in touch with authorities.
First, know your area, and then think of the several options you have for reporting. Your first choice has to be the local animal control agencies. Do a quick Google research and find a number to call for immediate help. If there’s no agency in your area, you can approach the local police and file an animal cruelty complaint in India.
There are police departments with specific units assigned for animal control cases. For any crime that you’ve witnessed currently, call the local police right away. Send the correct address to them and wait for the authorities to come up. Remember, when you file a report to the police, they are bound to follow up.
Do not interfere
Do not put yourself in any position that can affect you! It is true when a suffering animal is involved, and you wish to take them to a safe spot, so they get quick treatment. Are you interfering with the evidence?
The best thing you can do to remain helpful is, be patient. First, call the authority and wait for them to show up. Then, provide them key details and tell authorities you are willing to give a statement.
It would help if you kept it cool no matter what and how much slower the time. The animal cruelty investigation is a long process that may take some time. One step can put you in a legal crisis if you break the line. It can be trespassing or entering a property and removing the animal yourself.
Unfortunately, there is no place where animal cruelty doesn’t exist! Even though you can save each of the animals going through abuse. But, you can be an active community member to bring positive change. One major issue here lies in the lack of education, which you can use!
There are countless cases of neglecting animals and not taking appropriate care of them. You, as a citizen, can educate pet owners around you to take care of their furry friends. You can schedule motivational or speaking sessions in schools, churches, or other organizations. It is essential to add respect for animals in kids at an early age; this is the only way they will grow up and treat them nicely.
You can create pamphlets and pass on related to animal cruelty, punishment, etc. First, you have to figure out the laws in your area. Since laws exist in different regions and cities, ensure you have sufficient knowledge.
The prevention of cruelty to an animal is in your hands. First, you need to make a move and file an animal cruelty complaint in India. Animals are innocent; they have no one but us who can help them with food, shelter, and comfort. They seek compassion from us, and the primary thing to do is keep them safe.
Ensure that you create awareness amongst youngsters and kids especially. Also, guide pet owners about the animal cruelty act in India, and let them know the penalties. Since they are the new generation, they intend to bring changes to the world.
Teach them to respect their furry friends and take care of them. And, if you have witnessed any abuse incident, immediately report it to the authority. But, first, ensure you are safe and do not conduct anything illegal for evidence. And after that, make your move and help now!