Question:- 113. Explain the various provisions available to fight cruelty against animals in India. What are the challenges on the way? Answer in 250 words.
Nov 12, 2022


Wild animals in India are hunted for their body parts to make products like leather, fabrics, medicines, etc. that sell at very high prices in the international markets. The constitutional provisions establishing the duty of animal protection have resulted in the enactment of animal protection legislations both at the central and state level.


LINKAGE POINT: The following legislations stop cruelty against animals in India:



  1. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972:

The act aims to safeguard all plants and animal species in the country to ensure environmental and ecological security. The Act prohibits the hunting of endangered animals while providing for the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and zoos. The Act established the National Board for Wildlife which is responsible for the promotion of wildlife conservation and the development of wildlife and forests. It also established Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. The Bureau aims to combat organized wildlife crime in the country.


  1. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

The basic cruelty law of India is contained in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960. The objective of the Act is to prevent the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals and to amend the laws relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals. This Act established the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to advise the central government regarding amendments and rules to prevent unnecessary pain while transporting animals, performing experiments on animals or storing animals in captivity. It also promotes encouragement of financial assistance, rescue homes and animal shelters for old animals.


  1. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 is the official criminal code of India which covers all substantive aspects of criminal law. Section 428 and 429 of the IPC provides for punishment of all acts of cruelty such as killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless of animals.


Furthermore, over the years Indian courts have developed a growing legal jurisprudence in animal law.


However, there are many factors which pose challenges to their effective protection. They are:



  1. In India, there is increased pressure on natural resources due to overpopulation. This has led to a decrease in wildlife corridors resulting in human-animal conflict.
  2. Farmers see wild animals as a threat to their livelihood. They resort to cruelty against animals to protect crops by Electric fencing, poisoned fruits, firecrackers, snare traps, etc.
  3. A majority of states have not formed the state animal welfare boards yet. Few states like Maharashtra and Rajasthan which have formed State Animal Welfare Boards face challenges like inadequate budgetary allocation, lack of forest personnel, etc.
  4. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 has few serious lapses. The Act doesn’t differentiate between different forms of cruelties against animals. For example, the law prescribes similar punishment to the person who kicks a wild animal and the person who killed the wild animal.
  5. The efficacy of National Board for Wildlife due to lesser frequency of meetings has always been in question. Also, the decisions of NBW with regards to highways, dams etc. coming up in protected areas have not been in the interest of wildlife according to experts.
  6. There is a huge difficulty in tracing violators: The wild animal is harmed either in the forest or in farmland. Not every incident is reported or documented. Apart from that, finding proof against the violator is difficult unless there is a witness or media like images/videos.



According to the Indian Constitution, it is everyone’s responsibility to care for and preserve the country’s natural resources, such as its forests, lakes, rivers, and animals. Hence, not just laws and legislations but people at large need to see what impact their actions have on animals. Every choice – what we choose to eat, what we choose to buy and which creatures do we extend our compassions to makes a difference.