ANIMALS ARE NOT OURS TO ABUSE: A STEP TOWARDS ACKNOWLEDGING ANIMALS RIGHTS
Historically, there have been various different views regarding animal rights. For e.g. the Pythagoreans (6th–4th century BCE) and the Neoplatonists (3rd–6th century CE) urged respect for animals’ interests, primarily because they believed in the transmigration of souls between human and animal bodies; Hermogenianus, the roman jurist (3rd- 4th century CE) wrote, ‘Hominum causa omne jus constitutum’ (All law was established for men’s sake) and Salmond also declared, ‘The law is made for men and allows no fellowship or bonds of obligation between them and the lower animals.’ This shows that the animals for a very long time have not been considered as legal persons but merely as an living objects. However, the perspective now has little changed. And according to the modern view, it is believed that non-human animals have certain basic interest which should be considered, recognised and protected.
India’s first step to promote the animal protection and animal welfare started by legislating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in the year 1960 (also called PCA Act, 1960). Although, no amendment has been made in this Act since then yet the progress did not stop here. Significant development has been made with the help of intervention of judiciary with regard to the animal protection and animal welfare. Those dedicated to the cause of animal welfare have perceived an urgent need to raise general awareness about the rights of animals and to increase the stigma that is attached to acts of animal cruelty, so as to make such practices socially unacceptable.