The lockdown which was initiated by the Government of India due to the pandemic virus named COVID-19 has not only causing inconvenience to human beings but also to the animals. The Writ Petition filed by the petitioner regarding, guidelines by Ministry of Home Affairs, “animal feed and fodder” have been included as “essential items” in respect of which movement is permitted during the lockdown, and the judges also held in favour of the petitioner and also reiterating the rights of animals.
The petitioner named N. Prakash has filed a writ petition in the High Court of Kerala chaired by Justice A.K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly and attorney for petitioner Shri Ranjith Thampan.
The contentions of the petitioner before the bench is that the petitioner is a pure vegetarian, he does not cook non-vegetarian in his house. From the inception, he bought the cats into his dwelling he had fed them with cat feed like cat biscuits, and these biscuits are available at Cochin hospital, which presently he could not make up to, due to lockdown, and his online request of pass denied by the police authority without any appropriate reasons, and as a result which the petitioner is filing the writ petition. After listening to the contentions of the petitioner and his attorney, the judges allowed the writ petition and stated, it is clear that inclusion of “animal feed and fodder” as “essential items” in respect of which movement is permitted during the lockdown period, it suffices if the petitioner carries a self-declaration stating that his movement to Kadavanthara is for procuring animal feed along with a copy of the judgment. The fact that even the animals are prone to the pandemic virus. So we need to think of the right and protection of the animals and the duty of pet owners.
ASSERTION OF LAW:
The petitioner mainly relied upon the provisions of Prevention of Cruelty to animals act and also the judgement of ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA VS A. NAGARAJU, which find its place in section 3 and 11.
As per the above case law, the decision of the supreme court manifests this shift in judicial thinking, from one of merely safeguarding animals welfare, to recognise rights and dignity in animals to live lives from cruelty.
It was observed and stated by the Hon’ble High court Judge that the rights and freedoms guaranteed to the animals under section 3 and 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act have to be read with Article 51A(g) of the Indian constitution.
Section 3 of Prevention of cruelty to animals act- Duties of Persons having charge of animals- It shall be the duty of every person having the care or charge of any animal to take all reasonable measure to ensure well being of such animal and to prevent the infliction upon such animal of unnecessary pain or suffering. The fact that even the animals are prone to the pandemic virus. So we need to think of the right and protection of the animals and the duty of pet owners.
Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act: deals with cruelty to animals
It is also a penal provision, and thereby, on the owner depriving the animal food and shelter, such an owner is liable to be punished with a fine in accordance with the periodicity of the offence.
Article 51A(g)- To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for a living creature.
And the judgement also taking a cue from the guidelines by WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION OF ANIMAL HEALTH, it was held that the 5 international recognised freedom for animals.
- Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
- Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
- Freedom to express the normal pattern of behaviour.
Court communicate that there can never be a lockdown of the judicial institution and that it does must always be opened to the knocks of the hapless citizen.
Since last seven decades of our democratic constitution, we have focused, primarily, on the rights of our citizens, and we have forgotten about the other species with which we are sharing our life with, on this planet. So it’s the perfect time to mull about it.
The events which are going around the globe, stating the fact that even the animals are prone to the pandemic virus. So we need to think of the rights and protection of the animals and duty of the government. The fact that even the animals are prone to the pandemic virus. So we need to think of the right and protection of the animals and the duty of pet owners.