Stop animal slaughter

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Cruelty to animals in India is a concern which Indians appear not ready to take responsibility for, with attacks on stray animals, especially dogs, becoming part of daily life.

 

In the capital New Delhi, an unidentified man was caught on CCTV attacking a dog and killing a puppy outside a metro station. A housewife in the southern state of Karnataka smashed eight puppies on a boulder. In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a man in an inebriated state poured acid on five new born puppies and their mother. The west central state of Maharashtra registered a case in which a traffic police officer was arrested for the brutal assault on a stray dog, which led to permanent blindness in one eye. Around 50 community dogs were sedated with food laced with pesticide and then burned alive in the south-eastern state of Tamil Nadu.

In Hindu culture, we are taught that the same soul that is in a human being is the same in all animals. It is also an animate thing, so we have to treat everything equally. Thus we have to treat all the animals with grave respect.

There is no central agency where all these cases can be documented, but NGOs including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, People for Animals, Friendicoes and certain welfare organisations report constant complaints regarding animal cruelty.

Like several other countries around the world, hurting animals in India is also considered a punishable offence. But the lack of effective laws indirectly encourages the occurrence of such tragic incidents. The maximum punishment under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 is a fine of 50 rupees (about US 70 cents) or imprisonment up to three months or both.

When compared to the West, it is apparent how urgent it is for the law to be revised. In the United States, acts of cruelty against animals are now counted in the FBI’s criminal database. In Australia, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences is a five-year prison term and a fine of A$50,000 (US$36,000) for individuals and A$250,000 for corporations.