All living creatures are entitled to live and thrive, so why shouldn’t they? Humans, as a species, have a right to more than simply living. We have a right not only to basic survival but to a life of dignity. The state ensures that each aspect of human existence is secure. From birth to education and privacy, shelter, or everything. These rights are in place for as long as the State has them. For as long as the Law exists, citizens can defend and claim these rights are in place. If we are denied those rights, we protest, and we oppose. We scream and shout because we are aware that we have the right to assert what belongs to us. However, humans are not the only living creatures. We are part of an ecosystem, and the presence of many other creatures aids our existence. We refer to them as animals.

We have it as a fact that laws exist in cases of unlawfulness. There would not have been laws to safeguard our rights had they not been infringed. We are constantly hearing and seeing reports of abuse to animals and cruelty to animals. We don’t realize that just as we it is, the State takes care of the animals’ welfare, too. Being part of a human community, everyone must be treated equally. These laws were passed to ensure that they were treated equally. However, unlike us, they are not able to claim the rights that they are entitled to. They are unable to claim the judicial option and have no recourse other than to be a victim. The voiceless creatures rely on us to express their plight.

Concerns over cruelty to animals and their abuse aren’t unheard of. Animal cruelty refers to any behavior that can be harmful to animals, ranging from accidental disregard to intentional killing. Inflicting physical suffering, pain, or the death of an animal is cruelty to animals. Animal abuse, or the use of animals for purposes that go beyond the limits of animal cruelty, is a form of animal cruelty. [i] They are tortured, enslaved, and confined to chains so that they can be used for human “entertainment”; they are forced to be mutilated and kept in tiny cages so that humans are able to kill them and eat them. They are also burnt, blinded, poisoned, or sliced up for the sake of “science”; they are strangled, electrocuted, and cut up alive so that humans can parade about in coats and robes; and even worse [11 [iiI. In light of the numerous instances of horrific crimes committed against innocent animals, a variety of Acts and laws were passed around the globe. This has fueled the concept of animal welfare. This was after it was discovered that to be able to integrate and coexist within the environment, more than the simple survival of the animals is required. As per Collins dictionary, the term “animal welfare” is the safeguarding from the ill-health and well-being of animals. This goes beyond the idea of animal protection.

Laws that govern Animal Welfare in India

With urbanization, population growth, and the rise of consumerism, animals have become prey to humans’ greed. They are a target for those who want to earn a quick profit and are a prime target to be exploited (iii). 1960 the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (PCA), adopted in the year 1960, was among the most significant steps taken by the Parliament to protect animals and to stop the increasing instances of animal cruelty. The goal of the Act was “To ensure that animals are not subjected to unnecessary suffering or pain on animals.”Further, the Constitution of India recognized the need to establish the obligation of the Indian populace to respect the natural world. Soon after, in 1962, The Animal Welfare Board was set in the role of the principal authority for regulation. Article 51A (g) affirms the primary responsibility of each citizen:

(g ) to protect and improve the natural ecosystem, including lakes, forests, rivers, wildlife, and forests, and to feel compassion for living animals [iv(g) to protect and enhance the natural environment [iv

The PCA Act is based on similar concepts found within Article 51A(g), which states that it is the responsibility of every person to ensure the health of all animals.

To expand the scope of rights for animals, an additional notable law was passed. The most important legislation regarding Wildlife protection that is founded on the ecosystem approach and a regulated system of control and command can be found in The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972. The main purpose behind The Act was to regulate and stop the practice of poaching, smuggling, and unlawful dealing in animals, their resources, and their derived products.

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