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This article is written by Sonia Balhara from Sushant University, Gurgaon. This article deals with the rights that are given to the animals for their protection.


As per the normal Indian culture, animals are imaged as divine beings. Presently, animals hold numerous roles, like agricultural and transportation functions inside the agricultural areas, pets as companions, circuses, or zoos for recreation, used for scientific experiments inside the academic sectors in science and analysis, etc. Since the origin of humans, they are dependent on domestic creatures. Hence, these animals should be protected by the suggestions of that law. There are numerous tips inside the traditional spiritual scriptures of Asian countries for the protection of animals. India has some provisions, Acts, sections concerning safeguards for the animals within the Constitution of India. They discuss all types of laws concerning animals and their rights from wild animals to domestic animals. There is no distinct legislation that gives any guidance for pet animals in India. However, there are certain legislations which put down a negative list i.e. animals that can’t be pets in India. This has to be first analysed by following which of the rights accessible to domestic animals in India are brought in by a few statutes along with judicial reviews. A conjoint reading of all these would build the pet laws in India. In this article we are going to deal with various provisions, articles and sections which are introduced for the rights of the pet animals in India.

Which animals are allowed to be kept as pet animals

Animals have always been good friends of human beings from a very early time. We have progressed and have had even wild animals as pets. However, many people are using pet animals for several causes like stealing for ornamented and medical causes, illegal deals, etc. which have resulted in the vanishing of many species, while some are critically endangered. Therefore, animal laws need to be more harsh or strict. There is a specific list of animals under several statutes that cannot be had as pets or be reared in the home. The remaining animals can be very well trained. There is a list of animals that can be kept as pets and they are:

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  • Mammals: Camels, cats, dogs, donkeys, cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, and so on.
  • Birds: Parrots, chickens, ducks, geese, columbines, and many more.
  • Fish: Goldfish, koi, guppy, Oscar, Mosquitofish, etc.

The List is too long, these are some examples that can give some idea of what types of animals we can keep as our pets.

Animal rights under Indian Penal Code (IPC)

In India, numerous incidents of animal brutality are witnessed however, they’re ignored and thus no interrogations or arrests are being made. Animal protection laws aren’t strictly enforced in India. For a widespread action to be taken, all people need to acquaint themselves with the prevailing animal protection laws so that the loopholes are often filled in, and the laws made are properly applied. Below is a list of animal protection laws in India:

  • Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code,1860 states that, whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming, or rendering useless any animal or animals, of the price of ten rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can reach two years, or with fine, or with both.
  • Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that, whoever commits mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless, any elephant, camel, horse, mule, buffalo, bull, cow or ox, whatever could also be the worth thereof, or the other animal of the worth of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a team which can reach five years, or with fine, or with both. 
  • Section 378 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that ‘theft’, saying that whoever, intending to take deceitfully, transferable property out of the possession of anyone, even not taking consent or permission of that person, moves that property such taking, is claimed to commit thievery, and the property, beneath, ‘animals’ are also included in this Section. The Section itself explains the matter associated with animals. 
  • Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that the penalty or punishment of  ‘theft’ is imprisonment of either description for a term, which can reach 3 years, or with fine, or with both.
  • Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 states that anyone who threatens to harm another person or reputation of their loved ones, intending to alarm that person or to cause that person to commit any act which he or she is not legally obliged to do or to refrain from committing from an act that the person who has legal right to do so, as a precautionary measure, commits a criminal threat.

Animal protection under the Indian Constitution 

The Constitution of India recalls the lives and well-being of animals by making it a fundamental duty of all the citizens of India to praise all living creatures with empathy.

  • Under the Constitution of India, animal rights are overall protected. Article 51A (G) makes it a fundamental duty to guard wildlife and have sympathy for all living organisms.
  • According to Article 48, the State must prepare agriculture and animal husbandry on modern, scientific lines and to take steps for conserving and improving breeds, prohibiting massacre of cows and their calves, and draught cattle. 
  • Article 48A identifies that the State also must protect, safeguard, and improve the forests and wildlife of the country.

Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act,1960

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (hereinafter indicated to as the PCA Act) is recognized to be the most comprehensive law in India. The PCA was appointed by the Parliament, after that in the Rajya Sabha the private member’s bill was founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale. Restriction of the punishment of undesirable pain or suffering on an animal was the main objective of the enactment of this Act. This act is scripted in different chapters which are discussed below: 

Chapter I (Section 1-3) 

This chapter presents the commencement, power, and explanations of different terminology applied in the Act such as:

  • Animal (any living being other than humans),
  • Captive animal (any animal but not a domestic animal),
  • Domestic animal (any animal, which helps human beings in any form),
  • The owner (means the guardian or the owner of the animal).

The chapter also defines the responsibility of a person holding a credit of any animal to take all the feasible steps to restrict the animal from unnecessary pain and suffering.

Chapter II (Section 4-10)

This chapter deals with the founding of the Animal welfare council of India by the Central Government to serve the welfare of animals, to keep the law enforce in India, and to make suggestions to the government for the necessity of an amendment in any such law.

Chapter III (Section 11-13)

This chapter is very essential as it deals with the movement which shall be treated as cruelty to animals Section 11 of the prevention of cruelty to animals depicts kicking, hitting, hunting, dehorning of cattle, overloading, overriding, over-driving, and torturing, avoidable pain to any animal, punishable under the Act. The Orissa High Court described this Section in Bali Parida v. Nira Parida, as beating an animal that causes unnecessary pain and suffering creates an offence. This Section needs a nexus within the act of cruelty and unnecessary pain. In the case of Bharat Amratlal Kothari v. Dosukhan Samadkhan Sindhi, the Apex Court stated that not following the rules for transferring of animals even if they are carried for massacre amounts to a crime under the PCA.

Chapter IV (Section 14-20)

This chapter deals with the establishment of a council to manage and supervise the trials on animals. It shall be the responsibility of the council to take care of the animals and make sure that the animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering during the trials on them. Also, it has the power to ban the person or organisations from leading on any such trials or experiments that may be at a designated time or for an unlimited period. The experiments must be conducted with due care and below the influence of anaesthesia. For violation of the above provision, a person shall be guilty with a fine of 200 rupees.

Chapter V (Section 21-27)

This chapter deals with the limitations of the exhibition and training of working animals. Persons enrolled under the Act can present or train any animal. But if any person not being enrolled, exhibits or trains any working animal, then he will be punished with an imprisonment of 3 months or fine or with both. The central government defines the list of animals which shall not be presented or trained as a performing animal.

How can we take action against all crimes which are done to animals

Now that we have got a quiver choked of laws in our hands to shoot, allow us to look however we can use them and create a proper criticism: 

  • Sending a Legal Notice: You’ll either send a legal notice to the individual or a group of animal abusers yourself through a professional or report the come to associate degree organization which might just in case no action is being taken by the wrongdoer even when causing the notice, you’ll file a political candidate criticism.
  • Getting a Wildlife case registered: Associate degree report is understood completely by different names in several states, like Preliminary Offence Report (POR), Offence Report, First Information Report (FIR), etc. However, to create the reports uniform, it’s suggested that the report should be referred to as a life Offence Report (WLOR). It is developed under Section 50(4) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. This may be filed by anyone usually.
  • Though, to file a complaint, one must approach a justice associate degreed create an allegation orally or in writing. One will approach a forest officer, the World Health Organization will file a criticism to justice. According to Section 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the subsequent persons will file a criticism to the magistrate:
    • The Director of life preservation or the other officer licensed on his behalf, World Health Organization is authorised by the Central Government, Member of Central managerial authority or member secretary of Tiger Conservation Authority, Director of the involved Tiger Reserve.
    • Any person in the World Health Organization has given another person/group notice of a minimum of sixty days of his intention to create a criticism.
  • Arrest by associate degree individual: Offences below the Wildlife Protection Act or non-bailable and cognisable offences below Section 43 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an individual will arrest associate degree wrongdoer World Health Organization has committed a non-bailable and cognisable offence or could be a habitual wrongdoer, and hand over him/her to police.


Case laws

Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja & Others


  1. This case had two sets of cases. One challenging the Division Bench Judgment of the Madras High Court, which reviewed the legality of the Tamil Nadu Registration of Jallikattu Act and few writ appeals that questioned the legality of Ministry of Environment and Forests (hence mentioned as MoEF) Announcement dated 11.07.2011 and another case examining the Division Bench Judgment of the Bombay High Court in support of MoEF notice.
  2. Conservation of animal rights and the provision of countless cold blood bluchers; the Supreme Court banned hundreds of years of Jallikattu-bullfights and horseback riding festivals in Tamil Nadu and other neighbouring countries.
  3. The ban on spot involving bulls was introduced back in 2006 when an application was filed in the Madras High Court seeking a permit to operate in Jallikattu. Although one bench banned Jallikattu, due to a violent incident, the division bench, on appeal, revoked the restraining order and granted permission to run Jallikattu under certain conditions attached to the order.
  4. However, Jallikattu continued without regard to the conditions. Therefore, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) imposed restrictive bulls for notices to be shown or trained to make animals. In the case of the Animal Welfare Board of India v. A Nagaraja and Ors. Applicants approached the Supreme Court to apply to the division bench, intending to verify the existence of the application, with respondents, on the other hand, Jallikattu is a traditional Tamil Nadu game should not be banned.
  5. The Supreme Court exceeded the interim order recognizing the validity of this AWBI notice and the guaranteed rights to cattle under the PCA Act.
  6. On January 12, 2016, a clerk was placed before the Supreme Court to cancel this notice and to comply with the above Supreme Court order. In this case, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action and Ors. v. Union of India and Ors., the Supreme Court retained this notice on the grounds of cruelty regarding the bull and the welfare of the most important animal compared to the so-called ‘culture and traditions’ claim.
  7. However, a concerted effort was made to avoid the judgment order; the government of the country of Tamil Nadu, exercising its powers under the Constitution, came up with a law to restrict the banning and legalization of Jallikattu by changing the name and nature of Jallikattu from ‘sport’ to ‘right’.

The Decision of the Court 

  1. The court has ruled that the rights guaranteed to the bulls under Sections 3 and 11 of the PCA act read with Articles 51A(g) and (h) may not be revoked or reduced, unless provided Sections 11(3) and 28 of the PCA act. The five freedoms mentioned in Section 3 and 11 of the PCA Act are protected by the United States, the Central Government, the Union Territories (abbreviated ‘government’), the MoEF and the AWBI.
  2. The AWBI and the government were directed to take appropriate measures to ensure that persons in charge or care of animals, take appropriate measures, take appropriate measures to ensure the welfare of the animals. The AWBI and the government were directed to take steps to prevent the inclusion of unnecessary pain or suffering in animals as their rights are legally protected under Sections 3 and 11 of the PCA act. The AWBI is also directed to ensure that the provisions of Section 11(1)(m) are strictly adhered to, that is, the person in charge of the care of an animal will not encourage an animal to fight a person or another animal.
  3. AWBI and the government would see that even in cases where Section 11(3) is involved, animals were not objected to futile suffering and adequate and scientific methods were adopted to achieve the same. The AWBI and the government must take steps to transfer education on the management of human beings in terms of Sections 9(k) to incorporate Article 51A (g) and (h) of the Constitution of India.
  4. Parliament was expected to make the appropriate amendments to the PCA Act to provide for the effective implementation of the act and in contravention of Section 11, with adequate fines and penalties. Parliament was expected to promote animal rights in Constitutional rights, as practised by many countries around the world, to protect their dignity.
  5. Governments will see to it that if the provisions of the PCA Act and the proclamations and guidelines issued by this court are not properly adhered to and not properly enforced, disciplinary action will be taken against the offending authorities so that the purpose and objective of the PCA Act can be achieved.
  6. The TNRJ act was found to be inconsistent with the PCA Act which is a social law and is therefore unconstitutional in violation of Article 254(1) of the Constitution of India.
  7. The AWBI was directed to take effective and expeditious action to implement the provisions of the PCA Act in consultation with the SOCA and to report periodically to the government and if there are any alleged violations, governments should take similar remedial action, including the following action. 

Ozair Husain v. Union of India

By the Public Interest writ petitions filed for this case seeks that: A way to the respondents is to defend the rights of innocent scrupulous buyers who oppose the use of animals in all or part of their derivatives in food, cosmetics and drugs, etc, by giving the procedure to expose the components of the producers to expose the components of the previous goods so that they create a versed choice concerning their destruction.

  • A direction to the producers and packers of cosmetics, drugs, and food items for entire exposures of the components of their goods being sold to customers;
  • A declaration that the customers have a right to get an informed option between the products produced from animal and non-animal components; and 
  • A way for the producers and packers of food items, cosmetics and drugs that goods made from animals should carry an easily identifiable logo conducting that it has an animal part. The applicant inquires the directions, and notification keeping in view the facts that about 60% of the people of this country are vegetarians so that they can make a versed selection of goods as per their beliefs and views.

The applicant demands to be an animal welfare volunteer and a part of various animal welfare associations. He is also declared to be a meticulous objective to be consumption and use of animals and their derivatives for food, cosmetics and drugs. It has been highlighted in the appeal that more than 60% of the people of this country are vegetarians and over 50% of them are uneducated and a huge number of them cannot read or write English. It is urged by the academic attorney for the applicant that there should be faultless disclosure of components of cosmetics and food items and that such goods should have an easily recognisable symbol conveying the origin or ingredients of the products, whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian so that both literate or illiterate consumers can make an informed choice before selecting the products. He appeals that articles 19(1)(a), 21, 25 of the constitution as also the preamble to the constitution mandate declaration of information.

The issues for our determination in this appeal are:

  • Whether or not in this country a customer of cosmetics, drugs, and food items has a constitutionally assured right to complete exposure of the components thereof clearly stipulated on the product or its trademark or wrapper using writing?
  • Whether or not packets of non-vegetarian goods should have a logo giving their non-vegetarian origin?
  • Whether or not a package of the vegetarian goods should also bear a logo?

In brief, the main issue which requires our attention is: whether the constitution mandates a declaration of information? It shows us that the answer to the main question lies in Article 19(1)(a), 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and preamble thereto. To answer the question, it will also be important to retain in view some of the Articles of European Convention on Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the decisions on the case.

Reflection of the question regarding Article 25 of the Constitution of India: this article states the freedom of conscience and free business, work and distribution of religion. 

In Ratilal Panachand Gandhi v. State of Bombay, it was held that freedom of conscience means a person’s right to inspire beliefs and policy concerning matters, which are considered by him to be helpful to his religious well being.

In Bijoe Emmanuel and Ors. V. State of Kerala and Ors, the supreme court while dealing with the objection to the suspension of three children from the school because in the morning assembly they didn’t join the signing of the national anthem in care with their religious belief, held that the suspension violated their fundamental right to freedom of conscience.

Because of the above-mentioned discussion, we are in the view that it is the fundamental right of the customers to know whether the food items, cosmetics and drugs are of non-vegetarian or vegetarian, as unless it will violate their fundamental rights under Article 19(1)(a), 21 and 25 of the Constitution.


People for the ethical treatment of animals (PETA) v. Union of India and others 

In this case, People for the ethical treatment of animals (PETA) has filed the public interest writ petition upon reward of examiner certificate to the film “Taj Mahal” below Cinematographic Act, 1952. The accusation made is that there was a breach of prevention of cruelty to animals act, 1960 and Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 while making the film. A Scholarly attorney in this respect has drawn our application to the judgement of the Bombay High Court.

We are not bowed to examine the accusations made by the applicant in the case as the film “Taj Mahal” has already been issued and had its fun at the box office. We also notice that the stand taken by the censor board is that the judgement of the Bombay High Court stated above was consequent in point of time and after the date of the said decision the censor board is expected to assure production of certification from animal welfare board of India certifying that the provisions of the performing animals (registration) rules, 2001 have been complied with.

An Examiner certificate was awarded to the film “ Taj Mahal”. All the producers of the film “Taj Mahal” had presented to the censor board, the certificate from wildlife warden, Jammu and Kashmir government for shooting the film with animals. We may note here that respondent no.5, Mr Akbar Khan has led to the judgment of the Bombay High Court and has said that the necessity to provide a certificate from animal welfare board of India with the central board of film certification is relevant only after the date of the said judgement. Reliance is laid upon the following paragraph in the said judgement:

“The central board of film certification shall hereafter in all cases where an applicant for certification of a film for the public exhibition states that an animal has been used in the shooting of a film, require the production of a certificate from the animal welfare board of India certifying that the provisions of the performing animals (registration) rules, 2001, have been complied with. Such a certificate shall be filed with the application for certification of a film for public exhibition and, in any event, before the film is certified for public exhibition.” 

Respondent no.5 has also registered a copy of certificates issued by the Wildlife, Jammu and Kashmir Government, Srinagar.

It has been claimed that the Central Board of Film Certificate is not complying with the regulations issued by the Bombay High Court and the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960 and Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 after the date of the said decision. Because of the above facts, we are not preferred to pass any regulation or order in the writ petition. 


The government has an important capability, i.e, if the disciplines for such forms of offence can often create stricter, then the final population can conceive to fare the well and in 2011, the hindrance of cruelty to animals was revised and renamed as Indian animal welfare act as a requirement was felt to vary the previous law. Still such an outsized variety of laws the drive can simply return once people work alongside each living creature’s sense title bodies and associations and endeavour to separate this, legislative assembly and non-government organizations will realize the same way to amend the framework.

Another recommendation to boost the framework is to line up and strengthen the society for hindrance of cruelty to an animal, an organization which will add every state severally with no resistance There’s likewise recruitment to confirm that the state animal welfare board runs fitly, in lightweight of the very fact that in many nations there’s no such board and wherever there’s one it hasn’t met for a substantial length of your time. These very little modifications by varied gatherings and partners will change the truth for animals in Asian nations, and no mercilessness of any kind would be accessible in our general public. 


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