Shashwat Suraj, LL.M. from National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Animal welfare denotes to the calibre of life experienced by animals and their balanced subsistence with their habitat. It describes a collective relationship between man and wild. Inception and evolution of human civilization testifies the cumulative relationship shared by humans and animals. In India, animals are not only perceived as livestock but are also considered as reverend and embodiment of God. The Constitution of India and various other legislations provide for the welfare of the animals.
Furthermore, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India through various judgements had upheld the rights of animals. Despite of so much prevailing laws to protect and preserve the rights of animals, animal cruelty is still simultaneously prevalent in India. Many incidents of animal cruelty occur daily but in most cases they go unreported. As disgraceful videos of animal cruelty unsettle our collective psyche time and again, but even then, one hardly observes offenders being brought to justice for their abhorrent and contemptible acts of cruelty. This article explores the prospects of animal welfare legislations that exist in our country and brings forth the impediments in the achievement of justice consequently due to the loopholes in the laws. The jurisprudence on animal cruelty in India has also been discussed to indicate a growth towards honouring the rights of animals. This Article has been prepared with an empirical experience aimed at analysing the existing laws for animal welfare in India.