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Animal Cruelty

What is Animal Cruelty?

Animal cruelty also called animal abuse, is the act of causing any suffering or harm to any animal. It includes hurting an animal intentionally and also unintentionally. Simply the failure to take care of an animal responsibly also constitutes animal cruelty. Animals include your pet at home, on the farm, streets or in the wild.

Some ways by which people show cruelty to animals are by locking it, keeping it tied by a chain for a long period of time, giving it little or no water or food, leaving it outside in extreme hot or cold weather.

Animal Cruelty in India-

In 2007, 1,880 cases of animal cruelty were reported in India by the media out of which-

  • 5% (1,212) involved dogs
  • 18% (337) involved cats
  • 25% (470) involved other animals

Recently, animal cruelty has been classified as a top-tier federal crime in the United States. This means that cruelty against animals will be treated as a serious crime like kidnapping and homicide. India needs to make a similar change as well. Animal cruelty and its offenders are not taken seriously in India. This change will reduce animal cruelty by citizens. The society at large needs to realize that cruelty against animals is not a minor crime. Research has shown that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals also indulge in domestic abuse and turn out to be abusive adults. The authorities should work towards taking strict actions against animal cruelty.

The table below indicates the number of animals killed in PETA due to cruelty.











(Source: When the Ethical Treatment of Animals Goes Wrong by Stanley Coren)

Cruelty to Animals in Circus-

Animals do not choose to do tricks and perform in circuses. They are forced to travel, perform in circuses and do things which they would never do in their habitat. They are chained and caged and do not receive appropriate veterinary attention. Organizations around the world have found that trainers in circuses starve and beat animals to make them obey.


Instances of Cruelty to Animals in Circus-

A chained chimpanzee was trying to escape by pulling on the chain at the Jumbo Circus. A hippopotamus was suffering from an eye disease and a lion was missing an eye. At the Gemini Circus, the camels, horses, and elephants were prevented from moving by tying their legs. Animals in all the circuses are subject to cruelty by caging them in small spaces which are unhygienic. 


Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960-

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 was framed to prevent the unnecessary pain and suffering caused to animals; and to amend the laws relating to prevention of cruelty to animals. Animal Welfare Board of India was set up under this Act. We often hear news about people torturing or killing dogs and other animals. The ineffective laws in India do not prevent the occurrence of such tragic incidents and so cruelty against these innocent lives is on the rise.

This Act was introduced in the year 1960, and several amendments including penalty provisions are the need of the hour. The fine for animal cruelty was Rs. 50 back then and it still continues to be. For this reason, the crime of animal cruelty is taken very lightly.


Solutions to Animal Cruelty

Here are few effective solutions to avoid and control animal cruelty-


  • Be Constantly Aware- The most important thing you can do to prevent cruelty against animals is to be continuously watchful and aware of such incidents in your surroundings. Not just your neighborhood, but you have to be aware of cruelty against animals wherever you go or visit. This is your duty as a good citizen.


  • Report Animal Cruelty– When you see any cruelty or harm being inflicted on animals, call the local police or any animal welfare organization. This will ensure immediate response to any kind of animal cruelty and the innocent life of an animal could be saved due to your alertness.


  • Advocate for Anti-Cruelty Laws- Animals do not have the ability to communicate the harm or suffering that they go through due to cruelty against them. It is our responsibility to be their voice and stand up for laws against animal cruelty, ask for harsher punishments and educate people regarding the same. 


  • Volunteer at Local Animal Shelter- You can become an adoptive shelter pet parent by volunteering at the local animal Encourage people in your community to make some donation which will help animals in your locality to get shelter. You can educate people to prevent acts of cruelty against these innocent lives and provide food and shelter to animals.

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