The Institutional Framework provides a list of organisations and individuals that affect animals. This framework is meant to be a guide to showcase the different parties involved and the role they play. IA variety of institutions, ranging from the Local Municipal Corporation, Animal Welfare Board ,to local ethics committees, Veterinary Councils and SPCAs along with dog feeders, individual activists etc are included in this list. Read the document attached below to gain a holistic understanding of the different bodies that impact animals!
1. Local Municipal Corporation
Municipal Corporations can be approached for a number of animal-related issues.One of the primary functions of every municipal corporation is to ensure hygiene in the streets. They can thus be approached for violations regarding slaughterhouses and dairy farms. Offences concerning the illegal sacrifice of animals in the name of religion can also be addressed to your local municipal corporation. Markets or fairs that are held to sell livestock which are creating a nuisance to the public, threatening the hygiene of a public area, or insufficient maintenance of the market - all such matters can be taken to your local municipal corporation. The illegal sale of wild animal sold at markets, can also be brought to the attention of your municipal corporation. Municipal corporations are additionally responsible for the monitoring and welfare of stray dogs on the street. Legislation empowers them to work with animal welfare organizations and sterilize and vaccinate strays on a regular basis. Complaints regarding dogs on the street can therefore be addressed to your local municipal corporation as well.
2. Local Animal Husbandry Department
Your local Animal Husbandry Department can be approached for all matters regarding Animals used in food. The dairy and meat industries are regulated by this department for matters such as production and preservation of livestock in factory farming, development of dairy schemes, expansion of aquaculture to increase fish population, welfare of fishermen, etc. The national department works with the National Dairy Development Board as well as State Governments in such matters, focusing on the health and productivity of livestock used in factory farming. You can approach your local Animal Husbandry Department for violations of dairy farms, slaughterhouses and poor fishing practices.
3. Local Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
As the main function of SPCAs is to provide aid and relief to animals in suffering, they are responsible for a wide range of animal welfare issues. These organizations exist all over the country to deal with cases of cruelty to animals, and have infirmaries that provide the required care and treatment to sick and injured animals. They do not restrict cases of cruelty to any particular category, and are prepared to tackle cases ranging from animal abuse to illegal animal experimentation to administration of euthanasia in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act . Thus, they also carry out operations to ensure proper treatment of animals in slaughterhouses, inspections to ensure appropriate hygiene and maintenance of animal housing, as well as transportation of illegally captured animals back into their rightful forest habitats. SPCAs also work with Municipal Corporations to ensure sound sterilization and immunization programmes for stray dogs. You can therefore approach your SPCA for a violation of animal rights and seek redressal from your local organization. Even an issue such as the failure of an animal testing institute to have an Ethics Committee, can be brought to the SPCA’s attention through your complaint.
4. Institutional Animal Ethics Committee
As per the Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules under the PCA Act, permission must be taken from the Animal Ethics Committee for experiments to be conducted. This Committee is responsible for experiments to be as compassionate as possible and supervise to ensure proper care and treatment of animals before, during and after the experiments. You can approach the Animal Ethics Committee regarding cruelty of animals in experiments and other violations under the PCA Act and Rules. However, if an institution has an unresponsive committee or no committee at all, then you must contact either your local SPCA or AWB.
5. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and state-level Animal Welfare Boards
The Animal Welfare Board of India carries out diverse activities in relation to animal welfare. They are watchdogs for the implementation of all animal-related legislation, so they can be approached for violations of any of these laws. Similar to SPCAs, you will have a state Animal Welfare Board where you can seek assistance for a broad spectrum of any animal-rights violation. Any cruelty case can be reported to the AWB, such as ill-treatment of farm animals, poor maintenance of meat / dairy farms, illegal animal experimentation, capture and abuse of wild animals, illegal animal sacrifice in the name of religion, and so on. AWBI officials also have the power to inspect slaughterhouses for hygiene and maintenance. The AWBI works closely with the Government to introduce the humane and compassionate treatment of animals into various legislations and practices. They also grant aid in financial terms or otherwise, to animal shelters and gaushalas, in addition to helping other Animal Welfare Organizations (AWOs) in the country. Breeders of dogs also require registration with the AWBI and unregistered breeders can be reported to them. Similarly, if you find an unregistered premises which is employing cattle for profit, such as dairy or meat, you can report these to the AWBI as well.
6. Veterinary Council of India (VCI)
The VCI is an organization empowered to regulate veterinary practice in India, as well as assist in preventing malpractice and misconduct among veterinarians in the country. You can therefore contact the VCI for a complaint about malpracticing or fraudulent veterinarians.
7. Government Veterinary Hospitals
If you find a stray animal who is wounded and requires medical assistance, contact your local government veterinary hospital immediately and help them transport the injured animal for treatment.
8. Food Safety Officer
Your local Food Safety Officer can be approached for all complaints regarding violations of the PCA Act or Slaughterhouse Rules thereunder, as well as violations of the Food Safety and Standards Act and the Rules thereunder. As the Food Safety Officer is responsible for licensing of food business, complaints can be sent to him or the officer appointed by him. As a consumer, you can send a sample of the meat or dairy to your local Food Analyst, and then take the results and file a complaint regarding the lack of hygiene or maintenance of a slaughterhouse, dairy farm or meat shop. You can raise complaints on the subjects of quality, adulteration, hygiene, maintenance, packaging or labelling, or even misleading branding or false marketing.
9. Local Licensing Authority
If any person has witnessed illegal activity in contravention of the legal framework, the person can immediately approach the police station nearest to the place where the offence was committed and file a written complaint to take action. Police officers are empowered under the PCA Act and the Rules thereunder, as well as State laws, to take action upon receiving a complaint, as per the nature of the offence, which can range from confiscating the animal from its owner and producing it for examination before a magistrate, to sending the animal suffering to an infirmary for treatment. You can therefore approach the nearest police station and file an FIR. Complaints regarding offences under the WPA such as the illegal sale of wild animals or animal trophies, can also be brought to a police officer of the nearest station. An offence under the Indian Penal Code, such as theft of an animal, mischief by killing an animal, causing a public nuisance by slaughter of animals in public, etc. can also be dealt with by filing an FIR with the nearest police station.
10. Chief Wildlife Warden /Honorary Wildlife Warden (CWW)
The Chief Wildlife Warden, or in his/her absence, the Honorary Wildlife Warden, is responsible for all activities taking place in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. No wild animals can be hunted, captured, transported, exploited, injured or killed unless the Chief Wildlife Warden grants exclusive permission for the same. Further, no wild animals can be transferred, sold, purchased or acquired unless the CWW has given permission for the same. Additionally, putting any animal under the process of taxidermy and trading, sale, transfer or acquisition of any kind of animal trophy is illegal unless it has been expressly authorised by the CWW. Therefore, you can approach the CWW for all such violations in wildlife sanctuaries.
11. Central Zoo Authority (CZA)
The CZA has the power to grant recognition to a zoo, on the basis of its compliance with the stipulations for health, safety, hygiene and maintenance of the zoo animals. The Recognition of Zoo Rules empower the CZA to ensure that the standards for proper upkeep and care of zoo animals are maintained by zoos. Sick or injured and pregnant animals must be adequately cared for by the zoo as well, and all zoos have a duty to provide the most natural possible habitat for the animals and encourage natural behaviour. A failure to do so can be reported to the CZA. The CZA must also ensure that no animal is illegally acquired or transferred to a zoo. The CZA can therefore be approached for complaints of poor care of animals, ill-treatment and hygiene violations in zoos.
12. Board of Film Certification
If you see a film which displays the cruel use of animals or cruel treatment of animals, you can file a complaint with the Board of Film Certification, as films require prior approval from the same.
13. Kennel Club of India
The Kennel Club of India is registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975. It is the official body in the country for the registration of litters as well as effecting transfers. The primary objective of the Club is to promote the scientific breeding of dogs and disseminate useful information for general use to those interested in the pure bred dog. It is the K.C.I.’s endeavour to promote the welfare of dogs, by laying down norms for breeding, promoting dog shows and obedience trials. It also records the transfer of registered dogs to those buying dogs. The K.C.I. issues a litter registration certificate together with details of sire, dam, etc. In other words, the Club has the database for the pedigree of dogs registered with them for virtually the last 100 years.
14. Individual Activists /Dog Feeders
Individual Activists: Concerned members of the community can take action against any incidence of cruelty using the legal guidelines provided by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 & AWBI. They can also volunteer with or donate to animal welfare organisations; they can sponsor ABC programmes, foster rescued animals, etc. Dog Feeders: There is no law that prohibits feeding of street animals, and thatcitizens who choose to do so are in fact performing a duty cast upon them by the Constitution of India. Persons who are trying to interfere with their effort, or display aggression, can be held liable for having committed the offence described in the Indian Penal Code and criminal intimidation. Moreover, that as per Indian law, street dogs cannot be beaten or driven away. They can merely be sterilized in the manner envisaged in the Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 (Rules under Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960), vaccinated, and then returned back to their original locations. A guideline for dog feeding is available on the website of the Animal Welfare Board of India. 16. Breeders Breeding, marketing and sale of dogs has come to stay as a high-level commercial venture in India, involving thousands of breeders and pet shops in a multi-crore industry. Dog breeders in India breed pedigree dogs for sale. A breeder must be registered with Animal Welfare Board of India and must maintain full record of the number of pups/died from individual bitches. Breeder must maintain a record of the person buying the pups. He should ensure that the buyer has the required knowledge for the upkeep of the pups as well. The Animal Welfare Board of India also provides a framework of regulations for breeders in India. Breeders currently may also be registered with the Kennel Club of India although they cannot register any breeder who is not also registered with the AWBI.
15. Pet Owners
Pet owners are on the rise in India, with a growing pet care industry worth 800 crores. There are no licenses required to own a pet in India. Any animal may be kept as a pet as long as it isn’t classified as a wild animal under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1971. Pet owners cannot be prevented from owning a pet by building or housing societies.