This research paper delves into the evolving treatment of animals and the corresponding legal framework for animal protection in India. With Article 51A (g) of the Constitution highlighting the obligation to safeguard the natural environment and wildlife, the Indian judiciary has played a crucial role in protecting animals' rights. In 2014, the Supreme Court declared that animals possess the same right to life and freedom as humans, emphasizing the need for humane treatment and consideration of their well-being.
The "Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960" stands as a significant piece of legislation protecting animals from abuse, restricting cruel performances and establishing animal welfare boards. Over time, the Indian government has updated this Act to impose harsher punishments for animal abuse, reflecting a growing concern for animal welfare.
While India boasts a comprehensive legislative system for animal welfare, some challenges persist. The judiciary has recently adopted a more compassionate approach, but a lack of uniform and effective central laws remains a concern. Animals' best interests are often disregarded, and cruel practices continue in activities like farming and scientific experimentation.
Despite acknowledging the need for ecological balance and animal protection, current regulations fall short in comparison to Human-Centric Law in terms of adoption and implementation. Animals are often viewed as mere possessions, lacking legal personhood. As a result, there is a call for further research to understand and address the changes needed in animal protection laws to ensure their comprehensive and equitable safeguarding.