Saturday, May 25, 2024

Animal rights in India: Is it a reality?

Mohsin Khaiyam (Senior Sub-Editor)

Just like human beings, animals are entitled to rights as well. Animal rights have become a major concern in most parts of the world. Even in India, animal cruelty is seen as a major crime. But in practical day-to-day life, it seems that somewhere it is all just in the papers and on social media, with no actual and concrete animal protection work happening at the ground level. We have extensively reviewed the animal rights system in Northeast India, and based on that, we can paint a larger picture of the issues pertaining to animal protection in the rest of the country. Let us explore it in greater detail.

North-East India, especially Guwahati, has a lot of animal rights organisations that claim to be working for the welfare of the animals. If one looks at their websites or social media handles, you will see a lot of their activities and campaigns. However, on closer examination, one may discern that most of these are nothing more than plain gimmicks. 

Some of the organisations that are registered as NGOs claim to be working for animals, but when you actually check their activity, you will only find press release statements and nothing concrete. Most of these organisations would only seek donations to feed stray dogs or occasionally talk of a sick bovine animal that needs some major surgery done. Some are engaged in controlling the dog population by neutering them and “trying” to keep them healthy. 

One organisation based in Guwahati has been tasked with neutering all the stray dogs in Guwahati, but many have alleged that this neuter process may be a scam. Some also alleged that these organisations working in Guwahati do not listen to rescue calls, and even if they do, it is too late and the animal in need of rescue passes away. Another major accusation against these organisations is that the NGO working for the neuter process is only trying to increase their count in the books, for which they even risk the lives of the dogs. Hence, the sad reality is that organisations set up to protect the rights of animals are actually taking away their right to live.

Apart from this, there has been a demand to ensure that animals killed for consumption go through a humane process, but that has never been implemented in India. Untrained individuals without professional training are made to kill animals for consumption or commercial purposes. Although no killing is painless, we need to ensure that we inflict minimal harm on the animal. Animals dying such a tragic and inhuman fate just to meet our selfish demands is indeed a horrifying truth plaguing our society. 

While certain western countries do follow specific methods and protocols related to animal consumption and product use, we still have a long way to go. The majority of nations have laws in place that require stunning animals before killing them for meat, but very few slaughterhouses actually do this. In fact, only registered slaughterhouses practice the stunning method. Some sources even claim that in some parts of the world, the word stunning is not even known by butchers.

Animal rights organisations have never been vocal on this, as most of these groups have remained active either through news letters or social media. Some states have yet to get proper slaughterhouses, and even if they do, the number is quite small. Awareness regarding the issue is also very low, which does not attract much public attention, leaving the rights of our voiceless friends unheard. Hence, in conclusion, we can say that the present state of animal rights in India and around the world appears to be very grim. Several reforms need to be properly implemented to ensure their rightful implementation.

Related articles

error: Content is protected !!