How often have we visited temples and stood in queue to receive blessings from their resident elephant, in the process completing overlooking the pain and suffering of the animal?
How often have we relegated an animal to a lower status just because they are not human beings?
There is solid scientific evidence that elephants have highly complex cognitive skills comparable to what we have. They are self – aware and autonomous, just like us. Can you imagine the mental and physical torture they must be going through in cruel confinement?
Asian Elephants (found in India) have been given the highest legal protection an animal can get in our country. They are categorized as a Schedule I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. They are also an endangered species.
Despite this protection and the urgent need to conserve the species, Elephants are held captive, very commonly used in tradition, religion, entertainment and tourism.
Companion animals are primarily kept for the company or protection of a person. Challenges involving these animals such as dogs and cats include overpopulation, indiscriminate breeding, illegal trading, cruel confinement, ill – treatment, abandonment etc.
According to the Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, a performing animal is an animal which is used at or for the purpose of any entertainment to which the public are admitted. This also includes a film or an equine event.
The July 2011 Central Government notification prohibits the following animals from being exhibited or trained as performing animals :-
Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting for the purpose of food, fibre and labour.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 defines livestock as farm animals and includes buffaloes, bulls, bullocks, camels, cows, donkeys, goats, sheep, horses, mules, yaks, pigs, ducks, geese, poultry and their young ones. This definition does not include the animals mentioned in the Schedules (I to V) to the Act.
Animal husbandry is the breeding, maintenance and slaughter of these animals. Nowadays, intensive animal farming is widely practised in order to increase the yield of commercial outputs. This has raised many concerns regarding animal welfare and environmental impact.
Animal Protection Organizations across this great nation are networked and often collaborate to achieve national level change and awareness on various animal welfare issues. It is only with synchronized effort, a resounding voice, a mighty uproar and sturdy muscle that can fight for justice.