Re-Conceptualizing the Right of Animals With Reference To ‘Uncontrolled Breeding’: An Indian Perspective

Sanjana Bharadwaj
Independent Researcher, Former Asst. Professor at Department of Law, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The toothless Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in India proves to be insufficient to deal with matters relating to protection of uncontrolled breeding in India. Since animals fall in the State list under Schedule VIII, there is no uniform statue which checks for uncontrolled breeding, especially bovine animals. This has raised concerns over the exploitation of animal rights and the ethical and moral issues related with it. There are four reasons for which animals are bred[1]: as sources of usable products or services; for medical purposes; for aesthetics and as pets. In many instances, the breeding of animals is controlled or influenced by legislation, but in the absence of such a legislation in India, there is unrestricted breeding of animals which hampers not only the life of the animal but also impacts the other players in the ecosystem, especially humans. Although the use of biotechnology has considerably improved the health of animals, the use of selective breeding has a downside. Animals may develop physical problems, they might not be able to walk because of their weight[2]. Their family life is disrupted; denies them of social interaction and good nutrition; diseases run rampant[3] and much more harm is inflicted upon them[4].

A major challenge which lies before us, is the fact that such practice is often unchecked. In such a scenario, it is important to re-conceptualize the rights of the animals. This paper is an attempt to address the gap of the legislation around uncontrolled breeding in India; the need for amendment in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act; assessing the international conventions like Convention on Biological Diversity and critically analyzing the role of the international players with regard to protection of animals. It will also analyze the SC judgements and the role of the NGT in protecting the animals.

[1] A.P.F Flint & J.A Woolliams, Precision animal breeding, 363 Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 573–590 (2008).

[2] Selective breeding – Natural selection and selective breeding – GCSE Biology (Single Science) Revision – BBC Bitesize, , (last visited Jun 7, 2020).

[3] Grant Lingel, Poultry Farming: The Shocking Reality of Factory Farm Birds (2018), (last visited Jun 7, 2020).

[4] Id