Human versus Stray: The legal regime in 2021
Written by: Anubhav Seth
Human versus Stray Conflict
Human versus stary conflict arises when animals provide a true and recurring threat to a person’s source of income or security, resulting in harassment of that species. Retaliation against the culpable species frequently leads to disagreements about how to deal with the problem. Although this is not a new problem, humans and animals have coexisted for millennia; yet, it is growing more common, serious, and widespread.
This conflict poses a global danger to environmental sustainability, food security, urban and rural landscape preservation, and other issues. Crop destruction, reduced agricultural output, competition for grazing pastures and water supply, livestock predation, injury and death to humans, infrastructure damage, and an increased risk of disease spread among wildlife and livestock are all outcomes of the Stary-Human conflict.
Human-stray conflict is increasingly being addressed in national policies and strategies for wildlife management, development, and poverty reduction. At the national level, cross-sectoral cooperation involving forestry, wildlife, agriculture, livestock, and other important sectors is crucial.
Conflicts between humans and animals are no longer limited to wildlife sanctuaries in nations like India. Human-stray conflicts have practically reached our doorsteps in a rapidly urbanising globe. A monkey grabbed an infant from its home in Delhi a few years ago and half ate the baby’s head in front of his mother before the mother could respond.
A bunch of feral pigs kidnapped a newborn from his mother and ate him before he could be saved in another tragic occurrence in Delhi in 2017. Children being mauled by stray dogs is a typical occurrence. Similar occurrences are reported practically daily in the media, and they have even been reported from other countries.
Article 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution states:
“Every citizen of India must have the responsibility to maintain and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers, and animals, as well as to have compassion for living creatures.”
Animal protection is further strengthened by Article 48A’s Directive Principle of State Policy, which states:
“The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has created a set of standards for all towns to follow in order to administer the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme, popularly known as the ABC Rule. These regulations call for sterilisation and immunisation to control stray dog populations and eliminate the threat of rabies. The ABC rules define the procedures for implementing municipal Animal Birth Control programmes. They also make it illegal to relocate stray dogs.
The Animal Welfare Board of India is administering the Central Sector Scheme of Birth Control and Immunization of Stray Dogs by awarding money to Animal Welfare Organizations and Local Bodies that are executing the ABC programme and appealing to the Board. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, dog population consistency is achieved when 70% of the population is sterilized. If the ABC Rules are followed to the letter and spirit, rabies can be eradicated and human-dog conflict reduced.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960, often known as the PCA, prevents anybody from harming, causing, or allowing needless pain or suffering to be inflicted on any animal unless they are the owner. The Act makes it illegal to beat, kick, torment, mutilate, administer an injurious drug to, or cruelly murder an animal, and it includes penalties such as fines and prison time. The parts of the PCA that deal with stray animals are as follows:
- The PCA and the rules established under Section 38 of the Act protect street dogs.
- Poisoning street dogs is against the law under Section 11 of the PCA.
- Sections 11(1)(i) and 11(1)(j) of the PCA make it illegal to remove stray animals.
In addition, Sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal Code make it illegal to maim or injure any animal worth more than Rs ten. It’s against the law to throw acid on cows. It is also against the law for cars to intentionally damage or kill dogs, cats, or cows on the street, according to the Code. A fine of Rs 2000 and/or a five-year prison sentence is the penalty.
Conclusion & Suggestion
Instead of eliminating dogs or dog-feeders, the solution is to have designated feeding sites and times, as well as frequent ABC, drives financed by the state through local corporations. The ineptness of sterilisation and immunisation campaigns has made life difficult for both stray animals and humans.
This is a liability problem that needs to be handled at the ministerial level. If India wants to reach the WHO’s goal of being free of diseases spread by stray animals, residents must band together in a united and humane manner to demand adequate funding for efficient sterilisation campaigns.
About the Author
Student at Vivekananda School of Law and Legal Studies, VIPS.
He traces his academic roots from majoring in CBSE Class XII Commerce from Lancers Convent Senior Secondary School, Delhi. His areas of interest and research work are Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Rights, and International Laws.
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