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“Law to deprive owners possession of their animals”; Govt defends in Supreme court rules for animals

The Central government-protected law to withhold owners of mastery of their animals, including cattle, on the doubt that they are being subjected to torture or illegally carried for butchery. The Centre rejected the dispute that getting the animals from their owners dispossessed them of their resources even before they were found guilty of cruelty by a court of law.

“The argument that owners are protected from their right to livelihood is not sustainable. They have no power to do their business illegally. They have to carry the animals as per the conditions of the Transport of Animals Rules of 1978,” it said in an affidavit. A Bench directed by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde was listening to a petition registered by the Buffalo Traders Welfare Association disputing the efficacy of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and maintenance of case property animals) Rules 2017.

In the prior trial, the court had asked the government to remove the Rules, stating the law stripped people of their means to exist. But the administration said the Rules followed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960.“The Rules prevent owners and transporters from causing animals unnecessary pain and suffering… Animals are sentient beings. They are capable of experiencing pain, sorrow, suffering, and discomfort… Article 51A (g) of the Constitution enjoins upon every citizen to have compassion for living animals,” the affidavit said. Police took the cattle and vehicles of only those who deliberately infringed the Animal Transport Rules, it stated.

Animals were packed into the rear of vehicles, up to 50 at a time when only six were approved, to reduce the expense of transportation. Some of the cattle were recovered dead, many wounded and traumatized. Such courses were to illicit butcheries. The animals were delivered into the care of pinjarapoles, gaushalas, and shelter houses for attention, medication through the case of the offending owner and transporter. This was executed based on the order of the local magistrate, who handled his care. The order of temporary confinement of the seized animals in sheds was transferred by the magistrate who, in his legal knowledge, thought that restoring the animals to the wintertime would only advance the difficulties of the animals.

The purpose of such custody was to hold the animals safe and breathing during the analysis. It was like any other protected rules followed under the Criminal Procedure Code. The costs for the supervision of the animals while in the custody of shelters were adhered to by the owners or transporters, the government contended. The Rules affirmed with Sections 29 and 35 of the 1960 Act. Sections 29 and 35 dispensed with the confiscation of animals, both after condemning and during the pendency of the matter.

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“Before the sentence, the animals are merely captured and housed in a shed, where they remain as case property as per Section 35 of the Act. This is a method like all other captures protocols under the CrPC with specific special provisions for veterinary handling, feeding, etc, since the recovered animals are perceived to be sufferers of injury,” the affidavit stated. The sentences under the 1960 Act were low. This was the only requirement that released for the prey animals to be excluded from a traumatic condition, it noted. The legality of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Care and maintenance of case property animals) Rules 2017 had been supported by the court on August 11, 2017. The case was scheduled for a hearing next week.

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