Preventing animal cruelty is a duty of the state
- January 4, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Preventing animal cruelty is a duty of the state
Subject : Polity
Context: Soon, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India will deliver verdict on the validity of Tamil Nadu’s law permitting the practice of jallikattu in the State.
History of Jallikattu issue:
- Jallikattu first came underlegal scrutiny in early 2000s when the Animal Welfare Board of India and the animal rights group PETA moved petitions in the Supreme Court against Jallikattu as well as bullock cart races.
- In 2006, the Madras High Court banned the sportafter the death of a young spectator.
- The Tamil Nadu government, however, worked its way out of the ban by passing a law in 2009 the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009.
- In 2011, the Environment Ministry at the Center issued a notification specifically mentioning ‘bulls’.
- The Jallikattu practice continued to be held because of the Tamil Nadu Regulation Act 27 of 2009 even after the 2011 notice.
- The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a petition in the Supreme Court again and contested that –
- The regulations were not being followed and that bulls were indeed being subjected to cruelty as defined under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
- The SupremeCourt in its 2014 verdict banned Jallikattu and struck down the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009. (Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja, a two-judge Bench of the Supreme Court declared jallikattu illegitimate. The court found that the practice was cruel and caused the animal unnecessary pain and suffering.)
- In January 2016, in what could be seen as a clearly political move, the Union environment ministry revoked the ban by issuing a notification months before the elections in Tamil Nadu were due to be held.
- In January 2016, the Supreme Court stayed this 2016 Union Government notification,as it was challenged by the AWBI and PETA.
- In January 2017, several hundreds of protesters conducted a rally at Chennai Marina opposing the ban on Jallikattu.
- In January 2017, Tamil Nadu passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act of 2017 and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conduct of Jallikattu) Rules of 2017.
- The statutes had re-opened the gates for the conduct of the popular bull-taming sport in the name of culture and tradition despite the 2014 ban by the Supreme Court.
- In the aftermath of Jallikattu comeback due to Tamilnadu legislation the Supreme Court had referred a bunch of petitions to the Constitution Bench in February 2018.
- Jallikattu is a bull taming event practiced in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations. A tradition over 2,000 years old, Jallikattu is a competitive sport as well as an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
- It is celebrated on Mattu Pongale the 3rd day of the four-day long harvest, Pongal.
- Jallikattu is derived from the words ‘calli’ and ‘kattu’, which means a bundle of coins is tied to the bull’s horns.
- Bulls are brought to a common place where the ritual happens. The participants are supposed to embrace the bull’s hump and try to tame it by bringing the bull to a stop.
- It is popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu known as the Jallikattu belt.
- Jallikattu is considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls like Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and MalaiMaadu
- Bulls get precedence over cows because it helps in the ploughing of field, pulling their cart of goods and mating with cows to produce more offspring and in turn more production of milk.
- About Kambala https://optimizeias.com/kambala-2/
Legal remedies for Animal Cruelty:
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 recognises that animals can suffer physically and mentally, and is applicable to ‘all living creatures’.
- The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is the central body responsible for animal welfare in the country.
- The National Institute for Animal Welfare created in 1999, has the broad mandate to improve animal welfare through research, education and public outreach.
- According to Section 50(4) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, a Wildlife Offence Report (WLOR) can be filed.
Constitutional protection for animals
- The Constitution of India establishes a duty on both the State as well as on people to ensure security and conservation of animals at all costs.
- Article 48A:
- According to Article 48A, it is the responsibility of the State to improve the strength of animals and safeguard the wildlife of the country. It shall strive to enhance the population of animals and ensure that they are protected from all attacks.
- Article 51A(g):
- According to Article 51A(g), it is the Fundamental Duty of every citizen to protect and improve forests and wildlife and to have compassion for all living creatures.
- Article 21:
- Due to the expansive interpretation taken by the courts, the rights of the animals are also protected under Article 21 of the Constitution.
- Every species has a right to life and security, in accordance with the law of the land, and this right is not merely limited to human beings but is expanded to include within its ambit animals and birds as well.
- Article 48A:
About Prevention of cruelty of animal act,1960
- The act prohibits any person from inflicting, causing, or if it is the owner, permitting, unnecessary pain or suffering to be inflicted on any animal.
- The act provides forpunishment for causing unnecessary cruelty and suffering to animals.
- Act has established the definition of animals to include any living creature other than human beings.
- Section 2of the act defines animals and types of animals like domestic or captive animals.
- Section 4 of the act provides for theAnimal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory advisory body for animal welfare and protection of animals from unnecessary suffering and pain.
- The act mentions forms of cruelty, exceptions, and killing of a suffering animalin case any cruelty has been committed against it, so as to relieve it from further suffering.
- The act alsoprovides the guidelines relating to experimentation on animals for scientific purposes.
- Ananimal cannot be exhibited or trained by any person, if:
- Such a person is unregistered as per the provisions
- Such an animal has been barred from being included in any performance by the Central Government through a notification in the Official Gazette.
- Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, submitted a draft Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Amendment) Bill 2022 for public comment.
- For more details about draft bill https://optimizeias.com/prevention-of-cruelty-of-animal-act-1960/
Animal Welfare Board of India:
- The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory advisory body on Animal Welfare Laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.
- Established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (No. 59 of 1960), the Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian.
- From ensuring that animal welfare laws in the country are diligently followed, to provide grants to Animal Welfare Organizations and advising the Government of India on animal welfare issues, the Board has been the face of the animal welfare movement in the country for the last 50 years.
- The Board consists of 28 Members.
- The term of office of Members is for a period of 3 years.
- The Board was initially within the jurisdiction of the Government of India’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In 1990, the subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, where it now resides.
- Headquarters shifted to Ballabhgarh in Faridabad District of Haryana from Chennai, Tamil Nadu