“The idea of Humanity is no longer confined to man; it is beginning to extend itself to the lower animals, as in the past it has been gradually extended to savages and slaves”Henry S. Salt.


One must have seen people shooting birds, hurting stray dogs and leaving harmless and innocent animals to famishment and demise or seen organizations wrongfully testing their products on animals, animals being abused in zoos, circus or parks for amusement and thought about whether there is an end to this merciless routine. Recurring attacks on animals in an inhumane way only proves the fact that the already difficult to define term humanity seems very difficult to follow as well.

A nationwide atrocity was caused after a pregnant elephant in Kerala died as a result of consuming a fruit-laden with explosive. As per the autopsy, the animal suffered for two weeks before succumbing to death while being pregnant and even in such a state of misery she did not harm or damage any property or attacked any person. It has been referred to as a premeditated murder by some, but for many, it is just a common practice to protect their fields against wild animals, especially boars.

The issue is not whether this alleged incident was a murder or an accident : It is much greater and serious than that. The question is whether these kinds of practices are lawful under Indian law. This is not the first time animals have been treated with cruelty in India.


There is no limit to what we humans can do to animals, sometimes for no apparent reason. The number of cases of animal cruelty is on the rise in India and it is a matter of concern.

According to a report compiled by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS), between 2010-2020, a total of 4,93,910 animals were victims of crimes committed by humans. These include 720 cases of crime against street animals, 741 cases against working animals, 588 cases against companion animals, 88 cases against farm animals, and 258 cases against wild animals and birds. These were gruesome and intentional acts of violence that led to the animal’s death or an irreparable harm.

The range of crimes humans have committed include rape, murder, kicking, beating, attacking with sticks and stones. Of the 1,000 assault cases that were documented, 82 cases were of sexual abuse, 266 cases of cold blooded murder, and over 400 cases were of violent attacks of beating, kicking, torturing, throwing acid or boiling water, maiming a part of the body, attacking with a knife or a blunt object, According to the report, year 2019 saw the highest number of cases of crimes against animals (700 cases). Additionally, almost 4,230 dogs have been killed by mass culling drives across the country in the past five years alone.

According to their findings, street animals, including stray dogs are one of the biggest victims of animal abuse, which include mass culling. Based on the documentation so far, the report estimates that an average of 5 animals dies every day. But because of lack of reporting, the actual figures could be at least 10 times higher, which means 50 animal deaths every day – amounting to at least 2 animals being killed every hour in India. This does not include animal deaths in slaughterhouses, zoos, laboratories, and deaths by accidents or human negligence.


  1. “Wildlife racket busted : tiger, otter skins seized.” Retreived from The Economic Times, November 7, 2009. – “Seven persons arrested from Maharashtra and Delhi with a seizure of Tiger and Otter skins along with tiger bones. Such arrests is being considered as a major achievement as the agencies hope that it shall help in nabbing the head honchos in the wildlife racket.”
  2. “Man arrested for possessing elephant tusks in Mumbai.” The Times of India, October 13, 2010. – “A 40 year old sweeper was arrested from Dadar in Central Mumbai for allegedly possessing two elephant tusks collectively worth Rs. 4 lakhs.”
  3. Bengal foresters suspect jumbos being poisoned. The Indian Express, February 25, 2011. – “Three elephants were found dead in the area in December and January and they were poisoned to death as reported by the forest officials. Forest officials allege the animals were killed mostly by hostile locals,whose crops and houses get damaged owing to the migration.”
  4. “39 Rhinos killed in 10 months in Kaziranga National Park.” The Hindu, Business Line, October 5,2012. Reported that 39 Rhinos have been killed in Kaziranga National Park within a span of 10 months in the year 2012. The poachers target the one-horned rhinoceros which is a rare species for its prized horn which is priced within the range of Rs 40-90lakh in the international market and the demand by the buyers is in plenty.
  5. Three chimpanzees rescued from animal trader’s house.” The Times of India, January 23, 2014. – “Three chimpanzees listed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and five marmosets, another exotic species, were rescued by Customs officials from the house of an animal dealer in Baguiati. Reportedly, the dealer had procured the chimps almost six months ago from Bangladesh and had plans to sell them to a private zoo in South India.”
  6. “Acid Attack on Monkey: Rs 50,000 reward for information of attack.” DNA, February 22, 2016. – “A monkey was rescued by the Resqink Association of Wildlife Welfare from Tusletpada in Bhandup after being attacked with an acid-like chemical,but succumbed to the injuries. This prompted Humane Society International-India, an animal rights NGO to declare a reward of Rs 50,000 for any information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for the incident.”
  7. “Two-year undercover study reveals cruel side of India’s dairy industries.” The Hindustan Times, November 25, 2017. “According to a two-year nationwide study by Pune animal protection group Animal Equality, dairy industries’ practices violate the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, Transport Rules, 1978, Slaughterhouse Rules, 2001, and various high court and Supreme Court orders.”
  8. “Madhya Pradesh: Cow escapes from farmer’s shed, gets ‘raped’ by drunk Man.” The Times of India, March 27, 2017. “In Bhopal, a 50-year-old man was arrested and sent to jail for sexually abusing a cow in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. It was reported from Betul town on March 19, where the accused was spotted in the unnatural act by three women. The cow, police said, had escaped from a farmer’s shed. He was charged under section 377 (unnatural sex) of IPC and not under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960.”
  9. 8 booked for sex with goat in Haryana’s Nuh town in Mewat. The Times of India, July 29, 2018 – Eight men from a village near Haryana’s Nuh town in Mewat have been booked for having forcible and unnatural sex with a goat while intoxicated. According to local police officials, the crime reportedly took place on July 25 late evening at Maroda village.
  10. Kolkata: Carcasses of 15 puppies found dumped on NRS Hospital premises. The Indian Express, January 15, 2019 – Carcasses of 15 puppies were found dumped on the premises of Neel Ratan Sarkar Hospital in Kolkata’s Sealdah Sunday, triggering protests by animal lovers and outrage on social media. While two puppies and a dog were found alive, one of the puppies had died by the time it was brought to a veterinary hospital in Belgachia.
  11. Man held for raping cows at shelter in Ayodhya, India Today, 22 May 2019- The accused, identified as Rajkumar, was caught red handed by volunteers of the shelter, run by Kartaliya Baba Ashram. The volunteers were keeping a vigil on the shelter after they came across CCTV footage showing the man raping several cows. The accused was caught when he returned to the shelter and attempted to rape cows again. The man has been arrested and booked under sections 376 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code for cruelty against animals
  12. 55-year-old man held for allegedly raping cow in Bhopal, The Hindustan Times, 04 July 2020 – The gruesome incident was caught on camera by the dairy’s CCTV camera. After reviewing the area’s CCTV footage, authorities apprehended Sabir Ali and charged him with unnatural acts of sexual perversion against an animal under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  13. Bengal monitor lizard raped in Maharashtra, India Today, 04 April 2022 – The Maharashtra forest authorities have arrested four hunters for allegedly raping a bengal monitor lizard in the Sahydari Tiger Reserve. The forest officials came to know about the incident when they checked the mobile phone of the accused.
  14. Drug addict rapes stray dog in Delhi’s Indrapuri area, India Today, 05 March 2023- A stray dog was raped by a man living in the JJ Colony in Delhi’s Indrapuri area. The video of the incident has gone viral on social media. This is the second incident in 10 days in Indrapuri.

Between 2010 and 2020, 82 cases of sexual abuse of animals took place in India, as per the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations and All Creatures Great and Small. The number could be even higher, since crimes against animals are not compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, or NRCB due to which there is not any exact data by which we can conclude which year has how many number of cases.

Amongst various cruelties against animals, the crime of bestiality is considered to be very heinous. Under Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

The Supreme Court of India in the case Navtej Singh Johar vs Union of India Ministry of Law 2018 delivered a remarkable verdict and decriminalized homosexuality. However, the section that criminalized homosexuality has an important aspect of it. Bestiality refers to sexual intercourse between a person and an animal and it is a crime under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The apex court had upheld that the law will stand on the statute book to deal with unnatural sexual offences against animals such as bestiality. However, most people including the police are unaware or ignorant about this.


The judgments given by the Hon’ble Courts over a decade in the field of animal protection show the scope, emergence & importance of environmental law in the current scenario. The judiciary has also raised the issue of the lack of role of the legislature in contributing in the enactment of new rules and regulations and modification in the current scenario is a matter of concern.

In Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja & Ors the Supreme Court held that animals too have the right to live with honour and dignity. Karnail Singh and Ors. vs. State of Haryana is revolutionary judgment in which the judiciary took the matter of animal rights in the extent of Fundamental Rights.

The judgment goes beyond the question of the wellbeing of cows as focused in the case but also talks about all animals, birds and aquatic species as well.  Justice Rajiv Sharma mentions in his judgment The entire animal kingdom including avian and aquatic are declared as legal entities having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person. All the citizens throughout the State of Haryana are hereby declared persons in loco parentis as the human face for the welfare/protection of animals.

The doctrine of parens patriae which states the duty of the state to provide protection for those who are unable to protect themselves which was earlier limited to humans,  has now also included non-humans in the range of this doctrine.


India has several legislations in place to prevent and punish animal cruelty. Some of the key legislations are:

  1. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960: This Act provides for the prevention of cruelty to animals and prescribes punishments for offences related to animal cruelty. It also establishes the Animal Welfare Board of India to advise the government on animal welfare issues.
  2. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: This Act provides for the protection of wild animals and plants and regulates hunting, poaching, and trade in wildlife.
  3. The Indian Penal Code, 1860: The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has several provisions that deal with animal cruelty. Section 428 and 429 of the IPC make it an offence to kill, maim, or cause injury to animals.
  4. Transport of Animals Rules, 1978: These rules provide guidelines for the transportation of animals to ensure their welfare during transport.
  5. Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001: These rules regulate the use of animals in performances and prescribe conditions for their registration.
  6. Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001: These rules regulate the slaughter of animals in slaughterhouses and prescribe conditions for their humane treatment.
  7. Cow Slaughter Prevention Laws: Several Indian states have laws that prohibit or regulate the slaughter of cows, which are considered sacred in Hinduism.

It is important to note that these legislations are not always strictly enforced, and incidents of animal cruelty still occur in India. However, there is a growing awareness of animal welfare issues in India, and many individuals and organizations are working towards the protection and welfare of animals.

From here onwards there will be a Q&A part where I will be answering  questions asked to overcome this situation of animal cruelty vis-à-vis animal rape. The questions are as follows :

  1. Are animals not safe in India?

Animal rape, also known as bestiality or zoophilia, is a criminal offense in India and is punishable under the Indian Penal Code. The laws in India also provide protection to animals from cruelty and mistreatment.

While incidents of animal rape do occur in India, it is important to note that they are relatively rare, and most people in India respect and care for animals. In fact, India has a rich tradition of animal welfare, and animals hold a special place in Indian culture.

The Indian government has also taken steps to protect animals, including the enactment of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which provides for the prevention of cruelty to animals and punishment for those who engage in such acts.

However, like any country, India is not immune to cases of animal abuse, including sexual abuse. It is important for law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws protecting animals and for citizens to report any incidents of animal cruelty or abuse. Ultimately, the safety of animals in India, as in any country, depends on the collective effort of individuals, organizations, and the government to protect and care for them.

  1. What are your views on cases of animal cruelty especially animal rape, where a human being is caught raping an innocent animal?

In India, bestiality or the act of engaging in sexual activity with an animal is considered a criminal offense. Depending on the jurisdiction, it may be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, and the penalties may include fines, imprisonment, or both.

If a person is caught raping an innocent animal, they could face charges of animal cruelty or animal sexual abuse. The severity of the charges and the associated penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case, including the nature and extent of the harm inflicted on the animal.

It’s also worth noting that some states and countries have enacted laws specifically addressing animal sexual abuse, such as laws that prohibit the creation, distribution, or possession of “animal pornography” depicting sexual acts with animals.

In summary, a lawyer would likely view such an act as a serious crime that violates animal welfare laws and may result in significant legal consequences for the perpetrator.

  1. What steps should be taken to overcome problem of animal cruelty ?

Animal rape, or bestiality, is a serious issue that requires a multi-faceted approach to address. Here are some steps that can be taken to overcome this problem:

  1. Strengthen and enforce animal welfare laws: Governments should strengthen animal welfare laws and ensure that they are effectively enforced. This will create a deterrent effect and hold offenders accountable for their actions.
  2. Increase public awareness and education: Raising awareness and educating the public about animal welfare and the legal consequences of animal abuse can help prevent incidents of animal rape. This can be done through school programs, community events, and social media campaigns.
  3. Promote responsible pet ownership: Encouraging responsible pet ownership can help prevent incidents of animal abuse. This includes providing adequate food, water, shelter, and medical care for pets.
  4. Provide resources for reporting animal abuse: Governments and animal welfare organizations should provide resources for reporting animal abuse, including hotlines and online reporting mechanisms. This will enable people to report incidents of animal rape and other forms of animal cruelty safely and anonymously.
  5. Provide support for animal victims: Victims of animal abuse, including animals that have been raped, need support and care. Governments and animal welfare organizations should provide resources for the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of animal victims.
  6. Address the root causes of animal rape: Addressing the root causes of animal rape, such as mental health issues or a lack of empathy, can help prevent these incidents from occurring. This may involve providing mental health resources and education programs on empathy and compassion.

It is important to note that addressing the problem of animal rape requires a coordinated effort between governments, animal welfare organizations, and the general public. By working together, we can create a safer and more compassionate world for animals.

  1. What are major reasons due to which the animal cruelty takes place ?

The reasons behind animal rape are complex and often involve a combination of factors. Some of the possible reasons behind animal rape are:

  1. Mental health issues: Some individuals who engage in animal rape may have underlying mental health issues, such as a personality disorder or a paraphilic disorder.
  2. Lack of awareness: There is still a lack of awareness about animal welfare and animal rights, especially in rural areas. This can lead to incidents of animal rape and other forms of animal abuse.
  3. Sexual deviance: Some individuals may engage in animal rape because they have a sexual attraction to animals, a condition known as zoophilia.
  4. Lack of empathy: Some individuals who engage in animal rape may lack empathy and the ability to understand or care about the suffering of animals.
  5. Power and control: Some individuals may engage in animal rape as a way to exert power and control over another living being.
  6. Cultural or religious beliefs: In some cultures or religions, sexual activity with animals may be seen as acceptable or even encouraged.

It is pertinent to see that regardless of the reasons behind animal rape, it is a criminal offense and a form of animal abuse that causes significant harm to animals. It is essential to prevent and punish such acts to ensure the safety and well-being of animals.

  1. How a lawyer should see these type of cases ?

Cases of animal cruelty are seen by a lawyer as a violation of animal welfare laws and a serious legal offense. Animal cruelty is considered a social problem that affects not only animals but also human society. As such, a lawyer would view animal cruelty as a breach of ethical and moral standards and a violation of the law.

A lawyer’s role in cases of animal cruelty would be to ensure that the offender is held accountable for their actions and that justice is served. This may involve representing the victim animal or advocating for their rights and interests. The lawyer may also work with animal welfare organizations and law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of animal cruelty.

In some cases, a lawyer may also work to prevent animal cruelty from occurring in the first place by advocating for stronger animal welfare laws and promoting education and awareness about animal welfare issues.

Overall, a lawyer would view cases of animal cruelty as a serious legal issue that requires a strong legal response and a commitment to protecting the welfare of animals with the help of either existing laws and by making suggestions for the same.

  1. What are the views of Advocate Anik as an animal activist against the brutality and cruelty against the animals ?

It is important to note as animal activists, our focus should be on protecting and seeking for advocating for the well-being and rights of animals, which includes preventing any form of abuse, exploitation, or mistreatment, including bestiality. And it is well settled law that any sexual assault or rape of animals is a form of animal cruelty and is illegal under Indian law. It is punishable under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibits “unnatural offenses” against humans and animals.

Despite this, such incidents do occur, and they are often not reported or go unnoticed. It is crucial that people report any cases of animal cruelty to the authorities and take steps to prevent such incidents from happening. Additionally, spreading awareness about animal rights and educating people about the importance of treating animals with respect and kindness can help prevent such incidents.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full service law firm that has won a national award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal fall into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *