This article has been written by Preeti Meena a third year Bachelor's student from

Delhi University.

Lord Krishna says

“Because everything is born of me I am the original source of all. Everything is under me;

no one is above me”.

Basically it means that every living creature is equal may it be humans, animals or plants. The “prakriti” is under the control of “Vyavasthit shakti” (The Balance of Nature).

This balance of nature maintains the life cycle, the ecological cycle and the balance between flora and fauna. All living creatures are interdependent and adapt themselves with the situations and conditions of nature. The social interaction between humans and animals has been a part of evolution. Humans being superior by virtue of their thinking ability have tried to dominate over their interdependent participants (plants and animals) for their selfish reasons.

The race of dominance over others over the years , has resulted in conflict. The atrocities against the domesticated animals and wild animals have increased. Humans have violated the rights of its interdependent participants i.e. animals and plants. Though he has been vocal for his own rights.

People all over the world have understood the validity of rights not only for humans but animals too. One such organisation that has come for the support of animals is PETA ( People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The non-profit organisation established in 1980 has the motto "Animals are not ours to experiment on, eat, wear, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way." This organisation has 6.5 million supporters and focuses on animal rights and animal welfare.

PETA India was founded in the year 2000 is based in Mumbai, India. It focuses on issues about animals in laboratories, the food industries, the leather trade and entertainment.

PETA and various other NGOs help animals by becoming their voice and fight for their rights such as no breeding and killing animals for food or clothes or medicine, no experiments on animals, no hunting, no use of animals for hard labour etc. Article 51 A(g) of the constitution says that it shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forest and wildlife. PETA through its national and international platform facilitates vision of this Article.

Besides this, there is Prevention of Cruelty against Animals Act (PCA Act) 1960. Which has categorised cruelty against animals into Cognizable offences and Non Cognizable offences. Crimes such as killing animals, using them for baiting or fighting games, shooting them for entertainment purposes, performing phooka or doom dev on milch animals are considered as Cognizable offences. In such cases the police officer as per the time being in force , can arrest the convict without a warrant and can start an investigation without the permission of court

Torturing them, causing them unnecessary pain to them, treating them as the are some object by selling and buying them and abandoning them are considered as Non Cognizable offences under the PCA Act 1960. In such cases police have the power to seize the animals and send them to infirmaries for the treatment and care animal.

In tune with PCA, constitution of India, central government have framed certain right for the animals which relates to the allowed load of work that can be done by the animals and for the welfare of the animals. These include carrying of 1000kg load by a small buffalo through two wheeled vehicle. For medium buffalo it's 1400kgs and for large buffalo it's 1800kgs. Horse, pony or camels can be allowed to carry load arranging from 1500kg to 2000 kg. Provisions under the PCA Act allows 9hrs work for a day for the animals however it should also be ensured that the animals are allowed to work for only 5 hrs continuously and within the temperature of below the 37°C.

The provisions also allows disengagement of animals after work as one of their right. Regarding transportation, animals have right regarding healthy and good condition vehicle. Unfit animals, very young animals, pregnant animals shall be given due care during transportation. Different classes of animals have rights related to transportations in separate compartments and separation of compartments of diseased animals from healthy animals.

Despite various provisions under PCA Act 1960, Indian Constitution and various NGOs working for the welfare of the animals, animals are still suffering because of weak penalties in these provisions. Paltry sum such as 50 Rs fine under the PCA Act is not enough to deter people from community cruelty of animals have regularly been highlighted by the media which related to poisoning, causing harm and torture to the animals.

There is a need to enhance the penalties for those who indulge in cruelty against animals. Imprisonment provisions in extreme cases of cruelties should be strictly implemented. Efforts should be made not only by the government but also by common citizens towards their treatment of animals. Animals should be given due care, love and emotional support for the welfare of the society as a whole.

As Mahatma Gandhi stated in one of his statement that "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it's animals are treated"