Animal Rights in India: Laws and Punishment for animal cruelty in India

Animal Rights in India

India has a rich variety of wildlife. The Indic civilization has mastered the art of staying in sync with nature. However, in recent years, many animal cruelty cases have shaken the country. 

Activists, animal welfare organizations, and the government have taken various measures to spread awareness regarding animal rights and protecting them. 

Despite strict regulations and laws in the country, animal cruelty and exploitation still occur. Some of the country’s precious animals like the Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, or Asiatic lions have become endangered species. Multiple steps have been taken to stop all illegal activities. 

In this article we will discuss animal rights in India, laws to protect animals, and punishment against animal cruelty.

Animal Cruelty in India

Unfortunately, animal cruelty in India has become a massive problem over the years. Animal cruelty means any behavior or action that causes an animal to experience unnecessary harm or pain. Acts including torture, beating, or even neglect of animals are considered animal cruelty. 

Product testing on animals has become a worldwide issue, including in India. Poor and innocent animals have to suffer from irreversible damage and even death. 

What Are Animal Rights in India?

Protection of animals from any kind of suffering is called animal rights. They are protected from any sort of abuse, abandonment, or neglect. Loving and caring for wildlife have been core civilizational values of the country from time immemorial. 

The Constitution of India too focuses on animal welfare, and it places a responsibility on the state to protect animals from any kind of exploitation.

Animal Rights in Indian Constitution

Article 51A of the Constitution states that it is the ‘fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.

Laws Against Animal Cruelty in India

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, of 1960, criminalizes inflicting pain upon animals. This act also makes it illegal to injure, abandon, kill, or use animals for experiments without prior government permission or proper license. 

Organizing, exhibiting, or training animals for fighting or games is also illegal according to this act. The Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972, and the Environment Protection Act are some other major laws created to protect animals against cruelty. 

Animal Testing in India

Despite banning animal testing in 2013, there are still reports of illegal animal testing in some parts of the country, especially in the fields of medical research and pharmaceuticals. The Government of India has implemented various measures to prevent illegal animal testing and to promote alternative testing methods that are not harmful to animals.

Are there Animal Rights Activists in India?

India has various organizations and activists for animal rights. Maneka Gandhi, Gauri Maulekhi, and Anjali Sharma are some of the noticeable animal activists in the country. 

These activists work to promote cruelty-free goods and raise awareness of animal rights. There are many organizations too who work tirelessly for the welfare of animals. You too can volunteer for these organizations.


How to Report Animal Cruelty in India?

If you ever come across any form of animal abuse, it's important to inform the institutions and concerned people.  A 24/7 helpline (+91 9920777536) is also set up for information about animal abuse. It is set up by The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change. 

Provide as much information as possible about the incident, including the date, time, and location so that required care and assistance can be provided to the animal. Various local animal welfare organizations can be connected in case of an emergency. They will not only rescue the animal but also take appropriate actions.

PETA- 98201 22602
One can report any animal abuse by filling out the form from PETA.

Punishment for Animal Cruelty in India

India is very strict with its animal protection rights. Animal Cruelty punishment in India, for the violations of these laws, depends largely on the severity of the crime. It can either be monetary compensation, imprisonment, and in the worst scenarios both.

The IPC contains several provisions related to animal cruelty. According to sections 428 and 429, it is illegal to kill, abandon or poison an animal. The courts can also order the forfeiture of any animals that have been subjected to cruelty. 

New Updated Law

The rules were developed in accordance with the criteria set by the Honourable Supreme Court about the Animal Welfare Board and People for the Elimination of Street Trobles. The Supreme Court has clearly stated in several rulings that dog relocation is not permissible and is an illegal activity. 


To end with, animal rights in India is an important issue that needs to be addressed. We can make a better future for animals by encouraging empathy and respect for them. Undoubtedly, wildlife is one of the most precious parts of the country. Therefore, we should try our best to safeguard it. 

Some of the measures we can adopt on an individual level include donating to animal welfare organizations, turning vegetarian, choosing animal cruelty-free products, adopting over buying animals, reporting abuse, etc. 

Animal rights in India are undoubtedly given the utmost importance. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act were enacted to enforce animal rights in India, safeguard them, and punish those who violate them. However, despite these stringent rules and regulations, animals are still exploited. Therefore, it’s our responsibility that we work together to protect them.


1. Are animal rights important?
Yes. Animal rights are crucial for the well-being of wildlife. Animals too have emotions and it’s our moral and legal duty to safeguard their interests. 

2. Can we hurt animals in India?
No. It is illegal to hurt animals in India under any circumstances. If you find any animal abuse case, report it immediately.

3. Who fights for animal rights in India?
Various activists, organizations, and animal lovers fight for their rights. It’s every individual’s responsibility to safeguard animal rights.

4. Who protects animal rights in India?
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Animal Welfare Board of India protects animal rights in India. 

5. What is Article 21 for animal rights?
Article 21 of the Constitution of India recognizes ‘the right to life and personal liberty for all individuals, including animals,’ and is often used to protect animal rights in legal cases.
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