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Nobody can stop consumption of any kind of meat, says Humane Society International Director

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: May 22, 2022 12:59 am

SPCA Dimapur says it’s only against cruelty to animals

Our Reporter
Dimapur, May 21 (EMN): No one can stop anyone from eating a certain breed of meat within the laws or acts but one also should not confuse consumption with cruelty to animals, said Arkaprava Bhar, Director of Humane Society International (country).

Bhar was speaking as a resource person at a workshop-cum-training programme on animal law sensitisation organised by the SPCA and HSI at Life Spring Corner in Dimapur, on Saturday.

He made the statement weeks after the SPCA Dimapur conducted a surprise checking on illegal sale of dogs in Dimapur along with the Veterinary department, police and municipal council members.

It triggered a heated debate on social media platforms, after which the SPCA Dimapur clarified that “inspections were conducted solely against cruelty to animals as per the law and not against eating of any meat whatsoever”.

Bhar said during the workshop that a study by National Link Coalition had claimed that 70% of people charged with cruelty to animal are known by police for other violent behaviour including homicide.

Stressing on the link between animal abuse and family violence, Bhar said that as per study, abused animals were found in 60% of homes where child abuse or neglect occurred and abused animals were found in 88% of homes where physical child abuse occurred.

“As per study by the National Link Coalition, children exposed to domestic violence were three times more likely to be cruel to animals. Also, according to ‘Children and Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty’ published in 2005, 26.8% of boys and 29.4% of girls who were victims of physical and sexual abuse and domestic violence have been reported to abuse the family pet,” Bhar said.

The correlation between related abuses and violence, he underlined, were animal abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse and other personal violence.

He also acknowledged that SPCA Dimapur is the most active organisation (among SPCAs) in the country; that most SPCAs across the country were existing just in name and in paper because of the Supreme Court’s order while the Dimapur SPCA is actively involved.

Protection against cruelty

The resource person also enlightened the gathering on the offences against pet animals and community dogs as mentioned in the Article 51 A (G) of the Indian Constitution, which protects and improves the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures.

As per Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, beating, kicking, over-riding, overloading, over drinking, torturing or otherwise treating any animals so as to subject it to unnecessary pain, amounts to cruelty on animals. And whoever indulges in an act of cruelty to animals makes himself or herself liable for action under the Act.

Bhar emphasised on the Municipal Corporation Act that deals with dead animals, establishment and maintenance of veterinary hospitals, cattle pounds, farms, dairies, municipal markets and slaughter houses; licenses to private markets and slaughter houses, theatre and circus to name a few; and the state acts which are enforced by state agencies. 

Highlighting the conditions laid down in The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing Rules) Rules, 2017, he said that breeders must possess license to breed and sell, dogs cannot be displayed for immediate sale, and pups must be a minimum of two months old.

Protection to the dam (female parent), medical testing, proper care and the kennel facilities are clearly outlined, he said.

He went on to point out that it is difficult to track the breeders but easy to track the pet shops, and that in complete violation of the rules, it has been observed that the breeders usually not follow the conditions laid down.        

Animal law still in nascent stage

Dimapur Deputy Commissioner, Rajesh Soundararajan, who is also the president of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), said that awareness and implementation of animal law is still in a nascent stage in Nagaland and people are confused about animal cruelty and consumption.

He called on the SPCA to create awareness about the animal law among the law enforcing agencies, stakeholders and the public alike, saying that it is a collective responsibility and that execution of the law can be done after creating awareness.

Meanwhile, the SPCA Dimapur reiterated that it was not against consumption of any kind of meat but against the cruelty to animals, and that it discharges its duty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and other laws.

[Also read: Pet lovers in Nagaland campaign against animal cruelty]

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: May 22, 2022 12:59:58 am