Fundamental Rights of Pets & Strays - India

Fundamental Rights of Pets & Strays - India

Article 51 (G) of the Indian Constitution manifests the importance of protecting and improving the natural environment. These include forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife; And having compassion for living creatures.

Not all citizens are compassionate towards other living creatures like dogs, cats, cattle animals and birds. This unjust and unruly behaviour of our fellow citizens towards innocent animal has initiated animal lovers to establish many welfare bodies. These welfare organisations work to bring about a change in society toward animal treatment.

The below listed laws/by-laws have been reinforced as fundamental duties and form the crux of Article 51(G) -

RIghts of stray animals -

  • The Delhi High Court mandates that there are no laws that forbid people from feeding stray animals.
  •  Feeding poisonous food to stray animals is a serious and punishable offense.
  • Mutilating or causing injuries to any animal is illegal.
  • The Animal Welfare Board of India allocates IDs for people who feed stray animals. Even then, these stray animals feeders face backlash from other people.
  • The implementation of these rules are hugely impacted by the support of NGOs. 
  • As it has been a practice in our country, stray monkeys are not to be used for entertainment or commercial purposes. Despite being protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, it is not unusual to witness madaris around the cities/villages and towns.

Laws for Pet animals -

  • Pet owners have to ensure their pets don't cause trouble to other members residing in the housing society.
  • No Resident Welfare Association can ban residents from keeping pets in their apartments, not even through a majority vote in the society. It is a violation of the law to do so.
  • No civic body has the right to ban the pets or their owners from the society, if pet owners abide by the concerning pet laws laid by the municipal corporation.
  • No pet owners can be banned or specially held on account of using elevators with their pets.
  • Though not obligatory, leashing the dog is advisable when outdoors. As it will not only make other people feel safe but will also also ensures the safety of the pet from external mishaps from vehicles.
  • Residents' Welfare Association cannot impose fines on any pet owner who don’t maintain hygiene of pets , however they can request pet owners to tidy up after their dogs defecate for cleanliness purposes.