All animals are legal persons
All animals are legal persons

All animals are legal persons and citizens their guardians: Punjab and Haryana High Court

Animals are the companion of human beings. They are helpful in many ways. They provide us with food. We use many animals for transportation. Pet animals help us relieve from tension and anxiety.

Despite being the importance of animals, they have to face human cruelty. When animals suffer pain, they are unable to respond like us. But they have the same emotions as we have. So, who will speak on their behalf when they are victimized?

Certainly, we humans will have to stand by them! In this regard, Punjab and Haryana High Court has delivered an exceptional judgement for the welfare of animals.

The Court has observed that animals are not property. They have a legal right to live with dignity and honour. All citizens of the state are their “In Loco Parentis” (in place of parents).

The judgement says:

“The animals should be healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour without pain, fear and distress. They are entitled to justice. The animals cannot be treated as objects or property.”

 

 

It means we have the responsibility to ensure their welfare and protection. It will be our duty to see that animals live a healthy and comfortable life in a safe environment.

The Court issued several directions to the Haryana government so that there may be no harm to animals. Moreover, It banned the use of sticks to avoid causing bruises or swelling on them. The Court fixed the load to be carried by animals. Citizens should provide their animals with water every two hours and food every four hours.

However, the Court’s order does not imply that citizens should give up non-vegetarian food.

This is really a landmark judgement. This will incite the citizens of Haryana to safeguard the welfare of animals. We must welcome the decision of the Court.

It would be better if the Supreme Court of India passes such a decision. In this way, whole citizens of the country will be duty-bound to ensure the safety and dignity of animals.

Sanjeev Kumar

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