India

C
India
Recognising animal protection

Recognising animal protection

This theme examines recognition of animal sentience and the importance of animal protection as a societal value within the country, including government support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, prohibition of cruelty and protection for different categories of animals.

C

Formal recognition of animal sentience

There is legislation with partial application

Although sentience is not explicitly recognised in legislation, the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act 1960 provides a partial recognition of sentience by making reference to both physical and mental suffering of animals (for example, at section 9(e)). This relates to all living creatures other than human beings (section 2(a)).

It is noted that the Constitution of India provides for animal protection with Article 51 ensuring "Compassion to all Living Creatures".

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The scope of existing legislation is positive and it recognises that animals can suffer both physically and mentally. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 established the Animal Welfare Board to advise the government and cooperate with animal protection organisations. It is reported that the Animal Welfare Board of India was the first such body to be established by any government in the world.[1]

The government is encouraged to incorporate a full recognition of sentience into legislation, which should assist with issues such as meeting animals’ natural behaviour needs.

 

[1] http://www.awbi.org/?q=node/2

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Although there are cultural and traditional barriers to improving animal welfare, some of which at present appear as exemptions to legal provisions (for example, Article 28 provides that religious slaughter is exempt from the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960), the government regards animal welfare as an independent issue needing regulation and thus it appears that improvement should be possible.  Notably, in 2013 it was reported that the Ministry of Environment and Forests had decided to ban dolphin captivity on the grounds that dolphins are “highly intelligent and sensitive,” and ought to be seen as “nonhuman persons” with “their own specific rights.”[1] This recognition of the sentience of dolphins demonstrates the government forming policy on the basis of animal welfare science, which is very encouraging, although no official evidence of this was found in the preparation of this report.

 

[1] http://dolphinproject.org/blog/post/india-bans-captive-dolphin-entertainment; http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/what_indias...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for some of the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 which arise out of the partial recognition of animal sentience, specifically for the breach of anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Act. If any animal is subjected to any form of cruelty specified or treated in any of the ways provided under section11 (a) to (o) of the Act, the offender is subject to fines of up to fifty rupees (higher fines with possible imprisonment for repeat offences).

“Carrot” methods of enforcement involve 90% government funded schemes to provide animal ambulances for animals in distress, shelters and birth control for stray animals. The National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW) also operates regular training programmes relating to several areas of animal welfare.

D

Support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

There is partial government support

The Animal Welfare Board endorses the UDAW, but this has not yet received full government support.

Note: The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed formal international acknowledgment of a set of principles giving animal welfare due recognition among governments and the international community. An expression of support for the UDAW demonstrates a government’s commitment to working with the international community to improve animal welfare.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Full government support for the UDAW would be an important step towards integrating animal protection considerations into different discussion forums, becoming a soft law source for decision makers interested in improving animal protection in the country. The government is encouraged to pledge formal in principle support for the UDAW.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The scope of existing legislation suggests that there are not very significant barriers to the government pledging full in principle support for the UDAW.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

C

Laws against causing animal suffering

There is legislation

Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 prohibits beating, kicking, over-riding, over-driving, over-loading, torturing or otherwise treating any animal so as to subject it to unnecessary pain or suffering, or causing the animal to be so treated, or as the owner permitting it to be so treated. “Animal” is defined as all living creatures other than human beings (section 2(a)). Specific conducts are also prohibited by section 11, including transporting in a way that subjects an animal to unnecessary pain or suffering, and keeping in a cage that does not allow reasonable opportunity for movement. Animals used in scientific experiments are exempt from all of these provisions (section 14), and regulated by the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules 1998 which requires that experiments are carried out with due care and humanity (section 9(b)).

Section 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code of 1860 also states that, ‘mischief of killing or maiming an animal amounts to an offence’.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 does make animal welfare a mainstream concept, which is generally promoted in society by the Animal Welfare Board Of India. The National Institute of Animal Welfare imparts training and education on diversified subjects in Animal Welfare including animal management, behaviour and ethics.

However, it appears that the legislation itself, and accompanying enforcement efforts, may not be strong enough to protect animal welfare in many areas. The Act does not fall in line with international legislative approaches to some areas of animal welfare concern such as culling of healthy stray dogs and animal husbandry practices such as nose roping and dehorning and does not offer welfare protection in any type of religious killing.

There are also reports that enforcement levels are relatively low and thus the legislation does not present sufficient deterrent value.[1] Therefore the current legislation is not fully effective to make animal welfare a mainstream concern of society.[2]

 

[1] http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cruelty-to-animals-on-the-ri...

[2]http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1651374/cruelty_and_anima...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There are cultural and traditional barriers to improvement, some of which at present appear as exemptions to legal provisions (for example, Article 28 provides that religious slaughter is exempt from the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960).

The country also has just over a 50 percentile rank in the rule of law and government effectiveness indicators in the World Bank’s World Governance Indicators project, suggesting that although legislation to protect animal welfare and enforcement measures exist in some areas, it may in reality be poorly enforced or widely disrespected. Lack of awareness of animal sentience and animal protection issues may also present barriers to improvement; there appear to be challenges for the implementation and enforcement of this law. 

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for some of the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 which arise out of the partial recognition of animal sentience, specifically for the breach of anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Act. If any animal is subjected to any form of cruelty specified or treated in any of the ways provided under Section11 (a) to (o) of the Act, the offender is subject to fines of up to fifty rupees (higher fines with possible imprisonment for repeat offences).

 “Carrot” methods of enforcement involve 90% government funded schemes to provide animal ambulances for animals in distress, shelters and birth control for stray animals. The National Institute of Animal Welfare (NIAW) also operates regular training programmes relating to several areas of animal welfare. Anyone who contravenes the Penal Code can be imprisoned for up to five years and/or fined. Additional enforcement powers have been given to some local animal welfare organisations such as the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

C

Protecting animals used in farming

There is legislation

Section 48 of the Indian Constitution provides that the State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

28 Indian states and Union territories have laws relating to cow and calf slaughter[1]. However, these do not have uniform application. In some states there are exclusive cattle preservation laws, whereas in others, animal protection laws extend protection to other animals.

There are rules for the transport of cattle, equines, sheep and goats, made under section 38 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, and contained in the Transport of Animals Rules 1978, amended most recently in 2009.

There are also secondary rules for farrier licensing (the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Licensing of Farriers) Rules 1965) and slaughter houses (the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules 2001), and secondary legislation regarding registering cattle (the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals (Registration Of Cattle Premises) Rules 1978). Non-binding guidelines on the protection of the welfare of dairy cattle were published in October 2014 (National Code of Practices for Management of Dairy Animals in India). These were produced in consultation with NGO World Animal Protection, with relevant government bodies, and with dairy farmers.[2]

The general anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to this category of animals, but with exceptions for some husbandry practices which can have welfare concerns: dehorning of cattle, castration, branding or nose roping any animal in the prescribed manner, and religious slaughter (provided this does not involve the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering). Particularly relevant are the prohibitions on transporting in a way that subjects an animal to unnecessary pain or suffering, confining an animal in a way that does not permit reasonable opportunity for movement, or tethering an animal for an unreasonable time on an unreasonably short or heavy chain.

It has been reported that in July 2014 the government banned the import of foie gras on animal welfare grounds, following pressure from NGOs,[3] although no official evidence of this was found in the preparation of this report.

 

[1] http://dahd.nic.in/dahd/reports/report-of-the-national-commission-on-cattle/chapter-ii-executive-summary.aspx

[2] http://www.worldanimalprotection.org.in/latestnews/2014/national-dairy-c...

[3] http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/india-bans-foie-gras-553382

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The inclusion of agriculture and animal husbandry in the Indian constitution makes this an issue of high importance to society and a component in the creation of new legislation.

The government department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries publishes guidelines regarding several issues of agricultural management, including trade and many schemes for animal health and disease control, breeding and slaughter.[1] The expansion of intensive systems of animal confinement in India raises animal welfare concerns[2] and the government is encouraged to develop guidelines and legislation on detailed husbandry issues for different species of farmed animals, such as housing requirements, to promote animal welfare, in line with actions being undertaken in other countries to phase out intensive confinement systems.

 

[1] http://dahd.nic.in/dahd/default.aspx

[2] http://asiancorrespondent.com/120411/rise-of-asian-factory-farms-means-b...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The nature and variance in state laws and implementation and enforcement difficulties and the expansion of intensive housing systems for animals[1], all present barriers to improving animal welfare as do traditional farming practices[2]. However, there are a number of national organisations engaging with the government on these issues in the country, including the Animal Welfare Board and progress may be possible.

 

[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Animal-Welfare-Board-o...

[2] http://www.karunasociety.org/projects/the-plastic-cow-project

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

If any animal is subjected to any form of cruelty specified or treated in any of the ways provided under Section11 (a) to (o) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the offender is subject to fines of up to fifty rupees (higher fines with possible imprisonment for repeat offences).

Of the legislation that exists on cow slaughter, most states provide that breaches are criminal offences.

Section 12 of the Act penalises the practice of phooka or doom dev or any other operation performed upon any cow or other milch animal, to improve its lactation. It is a criminal offence punishable with a fine of up to one thousand rupees and/or with imprisonment for a term of up to two years, and the animal on which the operation was performed shall be surrendered to the government.

B

Protecting animals in captivity

There is legislation

The general anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to this category of animals. Particularly relevant are the prohibitions on confining an animal in a way that does not permit reasonable opportunity for movement, or tethering an animal for an unreasonable time on an unreasonably short or heavy chain.

Chapter 5 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 relates to animals which are exhibited to the public, and requires that trainers and exhibitors are registered. This appears to cover only animals used in performances, and any animals kept in any zoological garden or by any society or association, which has for its principal object the exhibition of animals for educational or scientific purposes are not covered by the requirements of this chapter.

The provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to all non-human living creatures.

Chapter IVA of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 establishes the Central Zoo Authority to specify minimum standards for zoos, evaluate zoos and provide them with official recognition. Zoos are required to obtain recognition in order to operate. Secondary legislation, the Recognition of Zoo Rules 2009, contains restrictions on the acquisition of zoo (and circus) animals and their treatment in captivity, requiring that all enclosures are designed so as to meet the full biological requirements of animals, to have space for free movement and exercise, and to ensure that groups are not unduly dominated by individuals.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The Animal Welfare Board of India is responsible for implementing and enforcing animal welfare legislation and public policy in India. The Board shows some activity in this area, for example, the Board recently officially opposed the establishment of dolphinaria in the country on animal welfare grounds,[1] citing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and stating that this would contravene these laws.[2] Chapter 2, Section 9(b) of the Act states that a function of the Board is to “advise the Central Government on the making of rules under this Act with a view to preventing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals generally, and more particularly when they are being transported from one place to another or when they are used as performing animals or when they are kept in captivity or confinement”.

In 2009 the government took action to prohibit keeping elephants in zoos on welfare grounds.[3]

The Central Zoo Authority provides information on its website, including a detailed policy and guidance, and details of zoos which are recognised by the Authority.[4] The Authority also provides some training on conservation, veterinary and welfare issues.[5]

However it appears that there are issues with respect to implementation and enforcement of legislation because significant welfare concerns have been raised both nationally and internationally about some of the country’s zoos, for example, Mumbai Zoo[6] and Bannerghatta Zoo.[7]

The popularity of keeping wild animals as pets and a lack of awareness of legislation also inhibits the progress of making the welfare of this category of animals a mainstream concern of society, although it is reported that the authorities confiscate illegally kept species.[8][9]

 

[1] http://cza.nic.in/ban%20on%20dolphanariums.pdf

[2] https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_g1FVyBbUZbMXJuMGxLaWlkRWc/edit?pli=1

[3] http://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=India&show=zoo

[4] http://cza.nic.in/

[5] http://cza.nic.in/event.html

[6] https://www.thedodo.com/the-5-worst-zoos-in-the-world--528392319.html

[7] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article143089.ece

[8] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Let-the-wild-run-fre...

[9] http://www.wildlifesos.org/rescue/others

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

It appears that the Animal Welfare Board actively promotes the relevant legislation and opposes any activities that would contravene this or result in animal welfare concerns, as shown with the example of dolphinaria and elephants in zoos.

However traditional attitudes towards keeping wild animals as pets and cultural uses of animals present barriers to improving animal welfare.[1]

 

[1] http://www.wildlifesos.org/rescue/others

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

If any animal is subjected to any form of cruelty specified or treated in any of the ways provided under Section11 (a) to (o) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the offender is subject to fines of up to fifty rupees (higher fines with possible imprisonment for repeat offences).

Contravention of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 is punishable with fines and/or imprisonment. The Chief Wildlife Warden also has the authority to “require any person to produce for inspection any captive animal… or derivative thereof in his control, custody or possession, or any licence, permit or any other document granted to him or required to be kept by him”. He can also “seize any captive animal…or part or derivative thereof in respect of which an offence against this Act appears to have been committed, in the possession of any person together with any trap, tool, vehicle, vessel, or weapon used for committing any such offence and unless he is satisfied that such person will appear and answer any charge which may be preferred against him arrest him without warrant and detain him.”

It is not clear whether there are enforcement mechanisms for breach of relevant government Circulars.

B

Protecting companion animals

There is legislation

The general anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to this category of animals. Particularly relevant are the prohibitions on: confining an animal in a way that does not permit reasonable opportunity for movement; tethering an animal for an unreasonable time on an unreasonably short or heavy chain; as the owner, neglecting to exercise or a dog which is habitually chained up or kept in close confinement; as the owner, failing to provide sufficient food, drink or shelter; and abandoning an animal without reasonable cause in circumstances that make it likely that it will suffer pain from starvation or thirst.

Stray dogs can be killed in “lethal chambers” by prescribed methods (section 11(3)(b)) but not by strychnine injection or other unnecessarily cruel manner (section 11(16)).

The provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to all non-human living creatures.

Secondary legislation, the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules 2001, sets out rules for local authorities to carry out catching, sterilising and immunising street dogs (whilst pet dogs are the sole responsibility of the owner). The Rules make provision for trap-neuter-release of street dogs. It is noted that the Rules provide that a dog with suspected rabies may not be euthanised but must be kept until its “natural death” (section 10), which can have very serious welfare implications.

Rules to govern the pet shop trade have been proposed but it is understood that these have not yet been enacted,[1] although no official evidence of this has been found in the preparation of this report. These would concern all animals, the ownership of and trade in which is not banned by any other law, rules, regulations, or procedures, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rodents of the rat/mice category, and permitted birds, and make provisions including space requirements and registration of pet shops.

 

[1] http://www.awbi.org/awbi-pdf/draftpetshoprules.pdf

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Although the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 makes some good provisions for common welfare issues faced by companion animals the country faces significant challenges in improving the welfare of such animals. There are an estimated 25 to 30 million street dogs in the country and fear of rabies carried by some of these animals provides a barrier towards progressing positive attitudes to dogs and of animal welfare. The Animal Welfare Board of India works to address the welfare problems of street dogs and to control rabies but reports that it is handicapped by outdated government policies and a lack of funds.[1]

There are many NGOs working within the country to address the welfare of street dogs and other animals.[2]

The pet industry is booming in India, with owners becoming more concerned about the health and wellbeing of their animals according to industry reports.[3]

 

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2597783/Anti-rabi...

[2] http://www.fiapo.org

[3] http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-09-09/news/33713658_1_...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There are human resources and funds for the Animal Welfare Board of India, which propagates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and its enforcement. There are also human resources and funds for the implementation of the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules. A committee must be set up by each local authority with a standard membership and is responsible for planning and management of dog control programmes in accordance with these rules. Each local authority also has responsibilities to provide funds for immunisation/sterilisation, shelters, vans, a mobile clinic and staff.[1] However financial constraints[2] and a reported unrealistic amount of funding for NGOs, which carry out dog sterilisations present significant barriers to improvement. The scale of the problem also presents challenges, as the country has an estimated population of 25 to 30 million street dogs.[3]

 

[1] http://envfor.nic.in/sites/default/files/Untitled-11.pdf

[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2597783/Anti-rabi...

[3] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2597783/Anti-rabi...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

As well as punishment of fines and jail time for contravening the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the Animal Welfare division of the Ministry of Environment and Forests runs a scheme on Animal Birth Control and Immunization of Stray Dogs[1] and a provision of shelter houses scheme as well as one for providing ambulance services for animals in distress. 

 

[1] http://moef.nic.in/sites/default/files/SCHEMEFORBIRTHCONTROLANDIMMUNIZATION_0.pdf

C

Protecting animals used for draught and recreation

There is legislation

The general anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to this category of animals. Particularly relevant are the prohibitions on: beating, over-riding, over-driving or over-loading; confining an animal in a way that does not permit reasonable opportunity for movement; tethering an animal for an unreasonable time on an unreasonably short or heavy chain; tethering an animal as bait for another solely for entertainment purposes; organising animal fights or allowing premises to be used for animal fights; and shooting animals released from captivity for shooting. Chapter 5 of the Act relates to animals which are exhibited to the public, and requires that trainers and exhibitors are registered.

The provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to all non-human living creatures.

The Performing Animals (Registration) Rules 2001 also contain guidelines for using animals in any type of performance including registration of the animals, transport rules and stipulations on working conditions and animal health. In exercise of powers given by section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the government has specified that bears, monkeys, lions, tigers, bulls and panthers shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals.[1]

Section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules 1965 sets out the maximum loads for draught animals by species. Section 5 sets out the maximum number of passengers which animals can transport and section 6 provides for regular rests for work animals and hours of the day that they should not be worked. Section 8 prohibits the use of spiked bits or harnesses and section 9 provides for the correct way to saddle a horse in order to minimise pain.

 

[1] http://www.awbi.org/awbi-pdf/notibulls.pdf

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is primary legislation which is promoted by the Animal Welfare Board Of India. As the Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules are secondary legislation under the Act, these are also presided over by the board which is comprised of representatives from several different fields. Chapter 2, Section 9(c) of the Act states that a function of the Board is to “advise the Government or any local authority or other person on improvements in the design of vehicles so as to lessen the burden on draught animals”.

The National Institute for Animal Welfare was established because poverty alleviation programmes in India focus on the use of animals to provide employment opportunities and generate wealth for those who are below the poverty line. Over 70% of all agricultural households are involved with animals as a livelihood option and the Institute aims to train professionals and educate people on how to treat their animals humanely.

Although legislation exists there are significant concerns regarding the welfare of working animals in the country, including working elephants,[1]horses, donkeys and mules.[2] There are many NGOs working in partnership to address animal health and welfare issues of working animals and to increase owner awareness of the needs of their animals.[3] However, a lack of awareness of animal health and welfare issues amongst animal owners puts animals and livelihoods at risk.[4]

 

[1] http://www.wildlifesos.org/rescue/elephants

[2] http://www.thebrooke.org/our-work/our-countries2/india

[3] http://www.thebrooke.org/our-work/our-countries2/india

[4] http://www.thebrooke.org/our-work/our-countries2/india

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

There are significant barriers to improvement for this category of animals. Poverty, illiteracy and a lack of knowledge amongst working animal owners present barriers to progress. Socio-cultural attitudes also present barriers to progress, for example, with respect to the use of elephants and the use of harmful traditional medicines to treat working animals. Additionally despite their role in providing livelihoods for people, working animals receive insufficient attention from policy makers.[1] However, many initiatives have been put into place by international and national NGOs working in partnership with local authorities and veterinary services to address working animal welfare[2], indicating that there is room for further progress.

 

[1] http://www.thebrooke.org/our-work/our-countries2/india

[2] http://www.thebrooke.org/our-work/our-countries2/india

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

If any animal is subjected to any form of cruelty specified or treated in any of the ways provided under Section 11 (a) to (o) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the offender is subject to fines of up to fifty rupees (higher fines with possible imprisonment for repeat offences).

The Prevention of Cruelty to Draught and Pack Animals Rules do not appear to have any penalties for infringement, however, a police constable or higher ranking officer has the authority to weigh any vehicle and animal pulling it on a “weigh bridge” if he/she has reason to believe that an offence against rule 3 or 4, has been or is being committed in respect of any animal referred to therein and if a bridge is reasonably close by. There do not appear to be any guidelines or schemes on draught animal welfare or health run by the relevant government departments at present.

C

Protecting animals used in scientific research

There is legislation with partial application

Chapter 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 concerns animals used for experiments. Section 14 provides an exemption from the other provisions of the Act for anything done in experiments for the purpose of advancement by new discovery of physiological knowledge or of knowledge which will be useful for saving or for prolonging life or alleviating suffering or for combating any disease, whether of human beings, animals or plants. This includes an exemption from the anti-cruelty provisions of section 11. Section 15 also provides for the creation of a Committee for control and supervision of experiments on animals which has the power to prohibit experiments. The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals was created for this purpose and the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules 1998 contain more detailed regulation on experimentation on animals. These rules specify that institutions must register to carry out animal experiments and request permission for each experiment from the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals or the Institutional Animals Ethics Committee recognised for the purpose by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals. Section 9 concerns the welfare of the animals involved, including provisions for the use of anaesthetic to prevent the animal feeling pain and not using neuromuscular-blocking drugs without anaesthetic. Section 8 allows the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals to put conditions on authorisation for experiments to ensure that animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering before, during or after the performance of experiments on them; however the Act does not itself prohibit subjecting animals to unnecessary pain or suffering, nor does it mandate that such conditions are attached to project authorisation.

Amendments made in 2005 and 2006 introduced elements of the Three Rs principles, requiring that animals lowest on the phylogenetic scale which may give valid results be considered first, that the minimum number of animals needed should be used, and that non-animal alternatives should be considered before experiments take place (section 9(1)(bb)).

Media reports suggest that draft amendments to legislation that will ban the testing of cosmetic products on animals were produced in January 2014.[1] The government is invited to confirm this and to comment on the current status of the draft.

 

[1] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-bans-testing-of-cosmetics-on-animals/article4860969.ece

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

It is positive that the legislation incorporates the principles of the Three Rs and makes provision for oversight of experiments using animals. However, the anti-cruelty provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 do not protect animals used in experiments, and protection from unnecessary pain and suffering is not mandated by the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules 1998 (although can be imposed as a condition of authorisation for experiments). Therefore at present the legislation is not fully effective to make the welfare of animals used in scientific research a mainstream concern of society.

However, progress is being made, for example, with respect to media reports of the government’s intention to ban cosmetic testing on animals. Notably, the Drug Technical Advisory Board of India received a “Leadership in Animal Welfare Award” from Humane Society International – India for approving a ban on animal testing for cosmetics and for recommending a ban on import of such products.[1]

 

[1] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-drug-advisory-panel-gets...

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The recent updating of legislation to promote the welfare of animals used for scientific research, and the potential ban on animal testing for cosmetics, demonstrate that there may be few barriers to further progress. The government is encouraged to apply the principles of the Three Rs and to continue to work with stakeholders to address animal welfare issues in scientific research in line with international standards.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Section 20 of the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules 1998  provide that breach of any order made by the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals or of any condition imposed by the Committee is punishable with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, and, when the contravention or breach of condition has taken place in any institution the person in charge of the institution shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be punishable accordingly.

The Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules also give the Committee the power to revoke the registration of establishments or breeders indefinitely, suspend the registration of such establishment or the breeder and issue instructions for the care and protection of the animals which are under the custody or control of such establishment or the breeder. The establishment must then cease to perform any experiment on any animal or acquire or transfer any animal.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Animal Welfare division runs a scheme to assist the Committee to promote animal welfare in animal research.

C

Protecting the welfare of wild animals

There is legislation with partial application

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 deals with the protection of wild animals, birds and plants. Section 9 provides that no person can hunt specified endangered wild animals, with exceptions that hunting can take place under permit if an animal is considered dangerous to human life or property (section 11) or for purposes of education, scientific research or scientific management (including population management), collection of specimens for zoos and similar, and collection of snake venom for the manufacture of drugs (section 12). It appears that non-listed wild animals can be hunted without restriction. The Act applies to amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles.

The general anti-cruelty provisions of section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 apply to this category of animals, prohibiting acts of cruelty but not prohibiting killing wild animals.

The Prevention of Cruelty (Capture of Animals) Rules 1972 provide that animals cannot be caught to be sold later in certain circumstances. Section 3(i) provides that no animal shall be captured for the purpose of sale, export or for any other purpose except by sack and loop method, except that an animal which cannot be captured by reason of its size, nature of other condition or circumstances by the sack and loop method may be captured with the help of tranquiliser guns or by any other method which renders the animal insensible to pain before capture. This does not apply to birds. Section 2 provides that no bird shall be captured for the purpose of sale, export or for any other purpose except by net method. 

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 is implemented by the National Board for Wildlife and a State Board for Wildlife. The boards are made up of representatives from several areas of government and non-governmental organisations and appear to be designed to mainstream the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. However, the Act is not comprehensive in its protection of wild animals and provides that in certain circumstances it is justifiable to hunt them for reasons such as scientific research, education, for museums and to collect specimens. Where hunting is permitted, there are no apparent restrictions on methods that can be used, including traps.

Responsibility for wildlife falls within a separate division of the Ministry for Environment and Forests which is responsible for providing technical and financial assistance to state governments for the scientific management of wildlife resources.

“Project Elephant” and “Project Tiger” have been established by the Ministry to preserve the populations of these species by creating more reserves and protected areas in their habitat ranges. Animal welfare is consequently better protected although this is not the primary aim of the programme.

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 has been used successfully to prohibit related acts of animal cruelty, for example, it was reported that in August 2013 the Ministry for Environment and Forests issued a “fins naturally attached” policy to prohibit the practice of shark finning off India’s coast.[1] In recent years the government has worked with a number of NGOs to end the practice of using dancing bears in the country.[2] The keeping of dancing bears was banned by the 1972 legislation but it has been reported that the ban was not implemented until animal protection NGOs established a sanctuary for confiscated bears and worked to provide alternative livelihoods for dancing bear owners.[3]

It is understood that previous restrictions on the ways of hunting animals, including weapons and methods, have been removed from the Act, removing some animal welfare protection. Further, the schedules relating to hunting of wild animals give varying degrees of protection: those listed in Schedule I and II are given absolute protection, with the highest penalties for contravention. Those listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower and Schedule V lists animals which may be legally hunted, including crows, fruit bats, mice and rats.

 

[1] http://www.hsi.org/world/india/news/releases/2013/08/fins_attached_india...

[2] http://www.wildlifesos.org/blog/dancing-bears-india-final-curtain

[3] http://www.wildlifesos.org/blog/dancing-bears-india-final-curtain

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

The government has set up boards to implement the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, but the Act itself does not protect the welfare of all wild animals as far as it could and there may be significant barriers to implementation and enforcement. It took over 50 years, for example, to bring an effective end to the keeping of dancing bears in the country following introduction of the 1972 legislation.[1]

It has been reported that the Environment Ministry has set up a committee to review various environment-related laws, including the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, which suggests that some improvement may be possible. The government is encouraged to include welfare considerations in this review.

 

[1] http://www.wildlifesos.org/blog/dancing-bears-india-final-curtain

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

If any animal is subjected to any form of cruelty specified or treated in any of the ways provided under Section11 (a) to (o) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, the offender is subject to fines of up to fifty rupees (higher fines with possible imprisonment for repeat offences).

Contravening the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 is punishable with fines and/or imprisonment. Under section 51 of the Act, anyone convicted of an offence under the Act will be punishable with imprisonment for a term of three years and/or a fine of twenty- five thousand rupees. In the case of a second or subsequent offence, the term of imprisonment increases to seven years with fine of ten thousand rupees.  However, these vary for hunting wild animals, depending on the classification of the animal under the Act.

Section 50 of the Act authorises the Director, the Chief Wildlife Warden or any officer authorized by them, or any forest officer or any police officer not below the rank of sub-inspector to arrest any person without warrant and detain him, if the arresting officer has reasonable grounds for believing that such person has committed an offence against the Act.

Governance structures and systems

Governance structures and systems

This theme examines government commitment to improving animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government.

B

Government accountability for animal welfare

There is legislation

The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act 1960 establishes responsibility for animal welfare in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and in effect puts animal welfare responsibilities on a Directorate of animal welfare.

The Act and animal welfare generally is promoted by the Animal Welfare Board Of India. This board is made up of representatives from several areas of the Government of India including the Inspector General of Forests, the Animal Husbandry Commissioner, the Ministries of Home Affairs and Education, the Indian Board for Wild Life, well-known humanitarians, association of veterinary practitioners, practitioners of modern and indigenous systems of medicine, municipal corporations, organisations actively interested in animal welfare, societies dealing with prevention of cruelty to animals and six Members of Parliament.

The National Institute of Animal Welfare was created in 1999 as an apex body in the field of animal welfare and its broad mandate covers the need to improve animal welfare through research, education and public outreach. Its objective is to create an enabling environment for fulfilment of the statutory requirements laid down in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, through imparting training and education on diversified subjects in Animal Welfare including animal management, behaviour and ethics. The Institute aims to provide learning and training ground for a wide range of services to improve the quality of services for the care and protection of animals.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Animal welfare is an independent issue, recognised by legislation as such for government management and regulation. This recognition allows animal welfare issues to be discussed at Ministerial level. The provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and animal welfare generally are promoted by the Animal Welfare Board Of India. This board is a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power, subject to the provisions of the Act and is made up of 24 representatives from several areas of the Government of India including the Inspector General of Forests, the Animal Husbandry Commissioner, the Ministries of Home Affairs and Education, the Indian Board for Wild Life, as well as well-known humanitarians, association of veterinary practitioners, practitioners of modern and indigenous systems of medicine, municipal corporations, organisations actively interested in animal welfare, societies dealing with prevention of cruelty to animals and six Members of Parliament. The aim of the Board is “the promotion of animal welfare generally and for the purpose of protecting animals from being subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering”. The Ministry of Environment and Forests also has a scheme to assist the Animal Welfare Board with its work.

At state level, it was recently reported that an animal welfare board has recently been formed to advise the Goa government on animal welfare issues.

It is positive that the Animal Welfare Board, and other government bodies such as the Central Zoo Authority, are active in the production of secondary legislation and guidance on animal welfare. However, despite the positive legislative and policy work undertaken by relevant government bodies, it appears that the structure may not be fully effective to make animal welfare a mainstream concern of society at present.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Although the Animal Welfare Board has a wide remit, it is unclear how funds are allocated. In the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act Chapter II, section 8, it is stated that “The funds of the Board shall consist of grants made to it from time to time by the Government and of contributions, subscriptions, bequests, gifts and the like made to it by any local authority or by any other person.” There is a risk that these seemingly irregular funds could make implementation of the Board’s responsibilities difficult.

Despite the positive aspects of the government allocation of responsibility and production of secondary legislation and policy, there appear to remain barriers to improvement. It may be that financial constraints present significant barriers, for example, with respect to humane rabies control programmes.[1] In addition it is noted that the country has just over a 50 percentile rank in the rule of law and government effectiveness indicators in the World Bank’s World Governance Indicators project, suggesting that there are enforcement difficulties presenting barriers to improvement.

 

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2597783/Anti-rabi...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

Government responsibilities are mandated by legislation.

Animal welfare standards

Animal welfare standards

This theme examines whether the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, the extent of engagement with the OIE on animal welfare issues, and whether the government publishes reports on progress in improving animal welfare.

D

Engagement with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

There is policy

There is evidence of the government having active interaction with the OIE. The government is involved with participating at the OIE Global Conferences and also with reporting to the OIE on animal disease control and on rabies control efforts.[1] Historic reports on animal and zoonotic diseases throughout the country are available. 

 

[1] http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/Presentation%20OIE-WSAVA%20Symp...

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

India is participating in the Regional Animal Welfare Strategy for Asia – Pacific countries, which presents an opportunity to make progress with respect to transposition and implementation of the OIE animal welfare general principles and standards.[1]

It is noted that India has not requested the OIE to carry out a Performance Veterinary Service evaluation mission.[2] The government is encouraged to do so as the OIE’s reports from PVS missions can be extremely valuable for identifying opportunities to improve animal welfare in the country assessed.

A number of NGOs have undertaken projects in the country to promote the OIE animal welfare standards, for example, with respect to humane rabies control programmes in partnership with local authorities.[3]

 

[1] http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/About_us/docs/pdf/2011_Commission_...

[2] http://www.oie.int/support-to-oie-members/pvs-evaluations/status-of-miss...

[3] http://icfaw.org/Documents/Supporting%20the%20implementation.pdf

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Given India’s long history of concern for animal welfare and recent updating of animal protection legislation it is considered that there should be few barriers to increased engagement with the OIE to improve animal welfare. However, it may be that there are resource issues that will impede progress.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

D

OIE animal welfare standards

There is legislation with partial application

Existing regulations cover issues established in the OIE’s guiding principles and animal welfare standards including transport of animals, slaughter of animals and stray dog population control but further development is encouraged in particular in the areas of killing of animals for disease control purposes, the use of animals in research and education, and the use of animals in agriculture.

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Some content of the OIE’s standards has been incorporated into primary and secondary legislation, namely the Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Act 1960 and related secondary legislation.

However implementation and enforcement activities appear to face difficulties and the current legislation is not fully effective to incorporate the standards.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

In some instances, cultural or religious beliefs present barriers to improving animal welfare. There may also be significant resource barriers to improvement. For example, a lack of financial support, infrastructure, trained personnel are barriers to progress with respect to humane rabies control in the country.[1]

 

[1] http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/Presentation%20OIE-WSAVA%20Symp...

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are enforcement mechanisms for those parts of the OIE’s standards which appear in legislation.

D

Reporting on progress

There is policy

The Animal Welfare Board of India has Honorary Animal Welfare Officers who are trained by the Board to have working knowledge of the important provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and its secondary legislation. The role of these Officers is to endeavour to impart humane education training in their areas so as to raise awareness of animal welfare and reduce incidents of cruelty to animals. The Officers are required to submit quarterly reports of their activities to the Board, regarding action taken to prevent animal cruelty. However it is not clear whether these reports are made publicly available.

The Animal Welfare Board makes its annual general meeting minutes publicly available on its website.[1] Although it is positive that this transparency exists, these reports provide an overview of activity rather than detailed progress reports. The Board also produces a quarterly magazine entitled “Animal Citizen” which contains articles from guest contributors as well as members of the Board. There is no other evidence of the government reporting on progress against goals to improve animal welfare. 

 

[1] http://www.awbi.org/?q=node/23

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

It is positive that the government and in particular the Animal Welfare Board is prepared to report to the public on its activity. The government is encouraged to introduce clear reporting requirements by reference to strategic goals to improve animal welfare for all species and categories of animals.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Existing information on the Animal Welfare Board’s website suggests that it may be possible to initiate regular and effective reporting against specific targets to improve animal welfare.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Providing humane education

Providing humane education

This theme examines whether issues of animal care and protection are included in the national education system at primary and secondary level, and comments on whether animal welfare issues such as humane handling form part of veterinary medicine education.

D

Education on animal care and protection

Policy is being discussed or developed

The Central Board of Secondary Education has endorsed the use of animal welfare education materials from non-governmental organisations[1], but this is not a compulsory part of the curriculum. The Animal Welfare Board of India has also endorsed animal welfare education and written to the Minister of State for Human Resource Development to request it is included in the curricula of all schools for children from 8-12 years old[2]. In its publication “Compassionate Citizen”, the Board’s chairman recently commented on this topic, stating that the Animal Welfare Board of India has been consistently providing financial assistance to support the Karuna Club Movement, with more than 40,000 teachers trained through the Karuna Club Training Programmes and actively involved in promoting Karuna Club activities. The “Compassionate Citizen Programme” has also been included in the Central Board of Secondary Education’s syllabus.

Environmental education institutions have taken forward the task of integrating Environment Education concepts within the curriculum through effective Teacher Training Programmes as well as by setting up eco-clubs in schools.

The Animal Welfare Board of India also conducts its own Training Programmes for Humane Educators and has held a Master Trainers Training Programme under the aegis of the Blue Cross of Hyderabad.

However, there is no evidence of animal care and protection being included in the national education system as part of any current legislation or policy.

 

[1] http://www.compassionatecitizen.org/pdf/endorsement-CBSE-circular-compassionate-citizen.pdf

[2] http://www.compassionatecitizen.org/pdf/endorsement-AWBI-dr-shashi-tharoor.pdf

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

There is no evidence of animal care and protection issues being included in the national education system.  However the Central Board of Secondary Education has endorsed the use of materials from NGOs which should allow for some education on animal welfare issues.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Taking into account the willingness of the government to include NGO materials in schools, and the Animal Welfare Board’s desire for including animal protection in the education system, it appears that some progress on this area should be possible.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

There are no enforcement mechanisms relevant to this indicator.

Promoting communication and awareness

Promoting communication and awareness

This theme examines whether there is government consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders on animal protection issues, such as the development of new legislation and policy and the licensing of scientific research using animals.

B

Consultation with stakeholders

There is legislation

NGOs are represented on the various boards that have been created to implement the relevant legislation, such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960, and their representation is required by the legislation. Section 5(f) of the Act requires that the Board membership has one person to represent each of such three organisations actively interested in animal welfare as in the opinion of the Central Government ought to be represented on the Board. The Board also aims to engage the public to raise awareness of animal rights issues and promote discussion of issues.

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 requires that five representatives from NGOs should be nominated by the Government to be part of the National Board for Wildlife.

A representative from a relevant NGO is also included on the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals.[1]

The government also works with animal welfare NGOs to run the Animal Birth Control programme. The Animal Birth Control (Dog) Rules require these groups to implement the programme and a representative from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and two other local organisations are stipulated in the rules to be on the monitoring committee which plans and manages the programme.

 

[1] http://envfor.nic.in/sites/default/files/CPCSEA-gazette-notif.pdf

Are legal provisions effective in acknowledging animal welfare as a mainstream concern?

Primary legislation mandates inclusion of representatives from relevant NGOs on various boards tasked with implementing animal welfare legislation and policy. The boards also contain members from government and other relevant disciplines. This gives formal recognition, in legislation, of the importance of obtaining advice from relevant stakeholders on matters related to animal welfare and shows a conscious effort to bring animal welfare issues to the fore and to call on a wide variety of disciplines to implement this in society.

It is positive to note that the recent ban on the import of foie gras came about as a result of pressure from animal protection NGOs, which suggests that the government is prepared to consult with relevant stakeholders to improve animal welfare.

However, resource issues appear to provide a significant constraint regarding improving animal welfare, for example, with respect to the ABC programme.

Are there economic and societal barriers to improving animal welfare in the country?

Poverty, illiteracy and a lack of knowledge amongst animal owners present significant challenges for the government and other stakeholders as they work to improve animal welfare. A lack of infrastructure, financial resources and trained personnel also present barriers to progress. However, the government has put into place a framework for animal welfare concerns to be addressed in the country and progress continues to be made despite the challenges.

Are enforcement mechanisms in place in policy and legislation?

The requirements for NGO involvement in board membership are mandated by legislation.

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The BMI forecasts that GDP growth for 2013 and 2014 will be 5 and 5.6 per cent respectively. Currently, the main driver of the economy is consumption, which is projected to grow. Although inflation is expected to decrease, it is still high, as it stood at 5.8% in August 2013. In the long term, the Economist Intelligence Unit suggests that, economic performance will depend on the the IT industry moving “up the value added chain” and the agricultural sector improving its efficiency.

Date of information: 11/02/2014
Population 
1,236,686,732 (2012)
GDP 
$1,841,717,371,770 (2012)
GDP (PPP) 
$3,876 (2012)
Education expenditure (% of GDP) 
3.3 (2010)