Is animal right a duty on human Animal Law: Right of an animal or duty of the man?

 Is animal right a duty on human Animal Law: Right of an animal or duty of the man?


Animal is also a living entity just like a human being as they also have same kind of feeling and sense as human being. Even we can say that animal is more talented than Human being because his sense power is much effective and the only difference is communication mean animal cannot but human being can. In ancient time we recognise animal as a legal entity but with the time change and development happen the value of animal decrease because it replaces by the technology. And in present time (21st century) we do not consider animal as a legal entity because they do not full the four essential element for legal entity. Which are rights and duties; capacity to do contract; hold property; and sue or can be sued. We also see the position of animal in other countries along with India and How India is start recognising Animal as a legal entity via a Judicial decision. As everything in this world have pros and cons and the matter is good or bad is decided by the calculation of merit and demerit. as this change also has pros and cons will discuss via a merit and demerit. This article attempts to scrutinize this revolutionary approach of the judiciary of providing justice.  And why the scholar and jurist and philosopher recognised or not recognised animal as a legal personality.


Animal, rights of an animal, legal personality, Judiciary, justice

Topic: Animal Law: Right of an animal or duty of the man?

This is known to all that animal is also a living being and us human being is also a living being but we can see that in present time in 21st century that we (Human being) are a legal entity and Animal is not a legal entity in the eye of law. There is most prompt reason behind this is there are four essentials to be legal personality 1. Rights and duties 2. Can do contract.  3. Power to keep property and 4. Sue or can be sued.  These essential are working in present era to determine the legal personality. So animal is not legal entity in present era because it cannot have Rights and duties, cannot keep property, cannot do Contract and cannot sue or be sued in court of law. but in the ancient time Animal has its value in system and that time animal also punished for his bad act. Because that time animal is equal as human. That time there were no technology and animal were the most prompt. 

 And in present time due to development of technology the value of the Animal decrease because in many works’ technology replace the animal 

Example: – all the travel vehicle is pulled by animal like horse, sheep, etc.

And now Petrol engine is developed which can facilitate human being more than Animal.

The Article aims to find out that the legal position of animal in India and in world mean in other countries and ideas behind to pass the Animal Act (animal cannot sue for cruelty) and deep analysis that is animal is entitle to recognise as a legal personality by the state. Further merit or demerit of recognising animal a legal entity. 


This Article is of descriptive nature and the research is based on Animal rights and deep analysis of ‘is Animal is a legal person’ in the eye of law in India and also study of this with relation of other countries. Animal rights like prevention of cruelty to animals Act, the wildlife protection Act, and Animal has legal rights is recognised by Court in many cases such as PATA v/s Union of India, State of U. P v/s Mustakeem and Ors.

Review of literature

Aristotle said that (384–322 BCE) repeatedly suggested that animals lived for their own sake, but his claim in the Politics that nature made all animals for the sake of humans was unfortunately destined to become his most influential statement on the subject. 

India, the seventh-largest country in the world, is home to four vast bio-diverse regions, making up 36 biodiversity hotspots globally. Over time, India has established prominent animal welfare and protection laws, which provide some of the finest provisions for safeguarding animals.

Animal laws and the Constitution of India

The Constitution of India, under Article 48A, emphasizes the Directive Principle of State Policy, which mandates every Indian citizen to preserve and protect the natural environment, including forests, rivers, lakes, and wildlife, and to treat all living creatures with care. The state is obligated to enhance the quality of the environment and safeguard the country’s flora and fauna, as stated in Article 48A. These provisions were introduced through the 42nd Amendment in 1976 to shape and guide animal protection laws at both the Central and State levels. Consequently, legislation such as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, are in effect at the Central level, while the State focuses on cattle protection and prohibits cow slaughter under Article 48. Additionally, Item 14 of the State List grants the power to the States to “preserve, protect, and improve stock, prevent animal diseases, and enforce veterinary training and practice.”

Regarding the Concurrent List, both the Central and State governments have the authority to legislate on:

Item 17: “Prevention of cruelty to animals.”

Item 17B: “Protection of wild animals and birds.”

Cruelty against animals is also considered a cognizable offense under Section 428 and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Animal laws exist to ensure that animals are not subjected to mistreatment and are provided with safe and secure environments. Despite the enactment of numerous laws to safeguard animals, many individuals may still be unaware of animal rights.

The Animal Welfare Act of 2006 is the latest legislation concerning animal welfare in England and Wales. It replaced and consolidated over 20 other laws, including the Protection of Animals Act 1934 and the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960.

The 2006 Act introduced stricter penalties for neglect and cruelty, including fines of up to £20,000 and a lifetime ban on certain owners keeping pets. Those responsible for enforcing the law, such as the police or local authority inspectors, have additional powers to intervene if they suspect a pet is being neglected.

One significant aspect of the statute is the inclusion of a welfare offense, which places a responsibility on pet owners to provide for their animals’ basic needs, such as food, water, veterinary care, and a suitable living environment. Previously, this duty of care only applied to farm animals.

The minimum age for purchasing or winning a pet without parental accompaniment is 16. However, in Scotland, the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 completely prohibits the giving of animals as prizes.

In the UK, the docking (cutting or removal) of animals’ tails for cosmetic purposes is illegal, except for working dogs in roles such as the police and armed forces.

In 2014, the United Kingdom received an A rating on the Animal Protection Index by World Animal Protection. However, this rating was lowered to a B in their 2020 index.

At the 2021 State Opening of Parliament, the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill was proposed as a new piece of legislation.

  State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Baig, AIR 1989 SC 1.

This particular case revolved around the regulations stated in the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Specifically, it focused on the hunting of elephants and whether such hunting can be justified under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the necessary provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act. The term “hunting” is defined in Section 2(16) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 as follows: “Hunting means- 

i) the killing or poisoning of any wild animal or captive animal as well as an attempt or attempts to do so; 

ii) capturing, coursing, snaring, trapping, driving or baiting any animal as well as any attempt to do so; 

iii) injured or harming or taking any part of the body of any such animal. 

iv) The case of wild birds or reptiles, damaging the eggs of such birds or reptiles or disturbing the eggs or nests of such birds or reptiles.”

Furthermore, the case also addressed the provisions of Section 9 of the Act, which states that “No person shall hunt any wild animals specified in Schedules I, Schedules II, Schedules III and Schedules IV except as provided under Section 11 and 12 of the Act.”

Significant emphasis was placed on the provisions of Section 11 and 12 of the Act, which provide a Schedule. Schedule I of the act includes a comprehensive list of animals, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, birds, and insects, such as Himalayan Brown Bears, Black Bucks, Cheetahs, elephants, crocodiles, pythons, whale sharks, sea horses, vultures, and more. Schedule II of the act covers animals like the Bengal Porcupine, wild dogs, chameleons, and so on. Schedule III of the act encompasses animals like the barking deer, hog deer, hyenas, and others, while Schedule IV includes hares, pole cats, Indian porcupines, and various species of birds like cranes, cuckoos, and bulbuls.

In this case, the Supreme Court concluded that since elephants are animals listed under Schedule I, it can be inferred that the hunting of elephants is prohibited. The Court also expressed the opinion that the act of “hunting,” as defined in the Wildlife Protection Act, encompasses the offense committed.

Shri Ajay Madhusudan Marathe v. New Sarvodaya CHS Ltd., First Appeal No. 676 of 2009.

In this particular instance, the Consumer Court reached a decision in favour of a resident who had filed a complaint with the Consumer Dispute Redress Forum. The complaint was regarding a resolution passed by the Co-operative Housing in which the resident resided, which prohibited dogs from entering the building’s lift. The Society justified this resolution by claiming that dogs were not considered consumers and their presence in the lift could lead to the spread of diseases and infections. The Society argued that the enclosed space of the lift could harbour bacteria and germs that could be carried by the dog’s fur, posing a risk to the residents. These were the reasons presented by the Society for implementing the resolution that restricted pet dogs from using the lift. After hearing arguments from both sides and careful consideration, the Court determined that the owner of the dog was a member of the co-operative housing society and therefore fell under the definition of a “consumer” as outlined in Section 2(7) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Court acknowledged the owner’s complaint and recognized their right to bring the matter before the Consumer Court. Furthermore, the Court found that the dog possessed a valid license from the Kennel Club of India and was registered with the Municipal Corporation. Additionally, the Court confirmed that the dog was healthy and free from any diseases, as evidenced by a Health Certificate issued by the Bombay Veterinary College. This ruling established a precedent that owners of houses in a co-operative society cannot be denied access to any building services on the grounds of pet ownership, as long as the pets meet the necessary requirements and pose no threat to the residents.

Author:- SHYAM KUMAR, ASIAN LAW COLLEGE Affiliated from Chaudhary Charan Singh University

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