Cases of cruelty to animals on the rise, but scenario is much worse

Many are now not hesitating to lodge a complaint when they come to know of a case of cruelty

Hyderabad: The number of cases pertaining to animal cruelty has been on the rise across the country. From 155 cases in 2014-15 to 383 cases in 2020-21, there has been a significant rise in the number, it was revealed in Parliament on Wednesday.

“The rise in the number of cases can be attributed to a rise in sensitivity among the people. Many are now not hesitating to lodge a complaint when they come to know of a case of cruelty. However, the numbers that are put forth formed only a fraction of the actual scenario,” Alokparna Sengupta of the Humane Society India told Deccan Chronicle.

She said the lockdown during the first-wave of Covid-19 had seen some against animals. “People were seen flinging animals off the roof tops. In some cases, animals were set ablaze. These scenes were shot on mobile phones and widely circulated on social media,” she said.

“Cruelty to animals is a violation of the Constitutional rights guaranteed to the animals under Article 21, 51 (g), Article 48, Article 48 (A), etc,” said Justice (retired) K.S.P. Radhakrishna, member of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).

FIAPO is the country’s apex animal rights organisation. He said humans and animals were members of the same ecosystem and shared space, time and resources like water, air and light. None is superior to others.”

What is more disturbing is the lack of stringent action against the perpetrators. As per law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act dates back to 1960. It stipulates punishment and/or fine for a multitude of animal cruelties.

These punishments that are given to those who were convicted of the crime is no more than a slap on the wrist. The law prescribes no more than Rs 50 as the highest fine for a first-time offender, animal protection activists point out.

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