Uttarakhand HC declares animals to be ‘legal persons’

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Economics of animal-rearing

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Particulars of the Judgement

Mains level: The newscard highlights the directives issued by Judiciary to prevent cruelty against animals.


News

Background

  1. The order came on a public interest lawsuit seeking restrictions on the movement of horse-drawn carts between Indian and Nepal through Banbasa.
  2. It was also prayed for in the PIL that there should be provisions for vaccination, medical checkup of the horses for suspected infections before entering into the Indian Territory from Nepal and for regulating traffic in the border areas.

To prevent cruelty against animals

  1. In a unique ruling, the Uttarakhand High Court accorded the status of “legal person or entity” to animals in the State, saying “they have a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.”
  2. A Division Bench bestowed the unique status on animal kingdom while issuing a series of directions to prevent cruelty against animals.
  3. The bench said that to protect and promote the greater welfare of animals including avian and aquatic, animals are required to be conferred with the status of legal entity/ legal person.
  4. The entire animal kingdom, including avian and aquatic ones, are declared as legal entities having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.

Guidelines issued by the bench

  1. The court also declared all Uttarakhand natives the guardians of animals and endowed them with the duty to ensure their welfare and protection.
  2. The Bench also gave directions ranging from the amount of load allowed to be pulled by various animals in accordance with the kind of carriage being pulled to the number of riders per carriage.
  3. Further banning the use of spike or other sharp tackle or equipment on the animal, the court also directed the State government to ensure that if the temperature exceeds 37°C or drops below 5°C, no person be permitted to keep in harness any animal used for the purpose of drawing vehicles.
  4. The court also went into the aspect of animal safety, highlighting the need for fluorescent reflectors in carriages and animals, certificates of unladen weight of vehicles, compulsory shelter of suitable size for horses, bullocks and stray cattle and a direction to the veterinary doctors of Uttarakhand to treat any stray animals brought to them or by visiting them.
  5. The court said as the carts driven by animals have no mechanical devices, animal-drawn carriages have to be given Right of Way over other vehicles.

Two Types of Persons

  1. In common law jurisprudence, there are two types of persons — natural persons or human beings and artificial person, which are also known as juristic persons, juridical entity or a legal person other than a natural person.
  2. Legal or juristic persons are created by law and recognized as a legal entity, having a distinct identity, legal personality and besides duties and rights.
  3. They include private business firm or entity, non-governmental or government organizations, trusts and societies, besides others.

Back2Basics

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

  1. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted in 1960 to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to amend the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals.
  2. The Act further recognizes slaughter for food. Section 11 of the Act does not categorize slaughter of animals for food as cruelty.
  3. It makes a specific exemption for “destruction of any animal as food for mankind unless such destruction or preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.
  4. As per the provisions of the law, the government of India formed the Animal Welfare Board of India.
Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc
  • Subscribe

    Do not miss important study material

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of