Animal rights is an idea that all animals are entitled to the basic survival and also to their most basic interest- such as the need to avoid suffering, free from hunger, thirst, pain, distress and disease. The fundamental principal of equality does not mean equal or identical treatment, but it requires equal consideration i.e. while calculating the rightness of an action, one should include all affected interest and weigh those interest equally. Consideration of what is there in their basic interest regardless of whether they are cute, useful to humans, or whether any human cares about them at all. Suffering, torturing of the animals are the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. All the animals suffers with the same degree that humans do, they feel pain fear, frustration and loneliness.
Animals have an inherent worth- a value that is completely separated from the usefulness of the humans. Animal rights is not just a philosophy it is a social movement that challenges the traditional view of the society that all animals exists solely for human use. Only prejudice can allow one to deny the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Prejudice is normally unacceptable whether it is based on the gender, sexual orientation, or species. Some of the major challenges for the animal community-
- USING ANIMALS FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING
Animals’ welfare groups have raised the concerns about the use of an animal for food and clothing production. They argue that animals are often made to grow in a cramped environment away from the natural environment in which they are usually grow and cannot do normally that used to do if they were free. Animals are fed forcefully with drugs, modified genetically to gain more from them for meat, eggs, wool and feathers. If animals also have right of the basic survival, then raising and killing of animals for food is morally and ethically wrong.
- TESTING ON ANIMALS
A number of products including cosmetics, drugs, food are tested on animals. Animals welfare group have raised the concern about experiment that may cause harm, pain, and death of animals. They even argue that many of these test are unnecessary and yield no results on the human beings. Although animal research has helped bio-science to make life changing directions from discoveries of new vaccines and medicines that has saved millions of life, however benefits arise from such testing weigh less against the cost to the death of animals. On the same footing, replacing of the testing of animals with the alternative method such as testing on human cells in a laboratory can be a feasible substitute to decrease the death rate of animals used for experimentation.
- Animals are often kept as pets and put on display on zoos and circuses. Animals welfare group argue that the use of animals for the experimentation purpose must be such as it would satisfy and meet their needs. Similarly it has been urge that the owners of pet animals should provide their animals with proper care and should not restrict them in cages and leases that hampers there freedom to move freely.
Regulation governing animal rights in India
In a joint effort with the PETA, ministry of environment, forest and climate change
released four new gazette notifications under the prevention of cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to
regulate dog breeders, animals markets, and aquarium and “pet” fish owners.
Some of the points to be noted are-
- It is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures. Article 51A (g).
- To kill or maim any animal, including stray animals, is a punishable offence. IPC Sections 428 and 429.
- Abandoning any animal for any reason can land you in prison for up to three months. Section 11(1)(i) and Section 11(1)(j), PCA Act, 1960.
- No animal (including chickens) can be slaughtered in any place other than a slaughterhouse. Sick or pregnant animals shall not be slaughtered. Rule 3, of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (Slaughterhouse) Rules, 2001 and Chapter 4, Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011.
- Monkeys are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and cannot be displayed or owned.
- Organizing of or participating in or inciting any animal fight is a cognizable offence. Section 11(1) (m) (ii) and Section 11(1) (n), PCA Act, 1960.
- Bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions and bulls are prohibited from being trained and used for entertainment purposes, either in circuses or streets. Section 22(ii), PCA Act, 1960.