Laws on Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in India


Aman Dev

There are several Laws relating to the protection of Animals in India. Some of the important Laws are given below:


This Act defines animals under Section 2(a) as being any living creature other than a human being. Under the Act there are certain duties cast upon persons having charge of the Animals. Every person having the responsibility to care any animal is required to take all reasonable measures to ensure the prevention from any suffering or pain.

The Act defines various forms of Cruelty to animals, some of them are listed below:-

  Any animal, which is treated with cruelty or given infectious food, is a case which is punishable with imprisonment and fine.

  Transportation of any animal causing suffering or pain is another punishable offence.

   Killing of homeless animals is also illegal.

The Act also regulates the training or exhibition of animals at circus or street for the purpose of entertainment.

The Act provides for punishment with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees or imprisonment that may extend to three months or both.



The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 is also one of the most important legislations dealing with animals and their protection. The definition of animals under Section 2(1) of the Act includes mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and their young and also eggs in cases of birds and reptiles.


The Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Section 9 prohibits the hunting of wild animals subject to the exceptions provided under Section 11 and Section 12.


  Section 11 of the Act provides that the hunting of wild animals can be permitted under certain circumstances.


1.       When a wild animal has become dangerous to human life or is diseased beyond recovery, then by order in writing such hunting of animal is permissible.

2.       Those animals who are dangerous to human life or property which includes land or standing crops can be permitted by order in writing to be hunted.

3.       Any act of defense by any person leading to death or injury to any wild animal shall not be an offence.


  Section 12 of the Act provides for the permission to hunt under special circumstances especially for the purpose of education and scientific research with the permission of the chief wildlife warden.



The Constitution of India, under Article 51A also provides the duties of citizens to include compassion for the living species.



The Indian Penal Code also makes it punishable to cause injury to Animals. Section 428 and 429 states that any wound or injury caused to animals is illegal and shall be punished with imprisonment or with fine or with both.


Under the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) ABC Rules, 2001:-

  A committee has been constituted for planning and management of dog control.

  The Rules provide instructions for shelter, transport, vaccination and other treatment of dogs.

  This committee also helps in creating public awareness and funding.


An Animal Welfare Board has been created in India for the protection of animals. Established under the Central Government, this board undertakes a list of functions as stated under Section 9 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 which are :-

  To enforce the law properly and to prevent India of cruelty to animals.

  To advise Government on necessary changes on relevant laws.

  To advise Government on matters of confinement of animals.

  To encourage the Government for the construction of water troughs, sheds and other assistance.

  To advise the Government in relation to slaughter of animals.

  By providing financial assistance to animal welfare organization.

  To take relevant advises from the Government in terms of medical care and animal hospital.

  To spread awareness in relation to treatment of animals.

  To promote animal welfare through posters, books, exhibitions, lecturers etc.


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