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By Radha Rajan 20/01/2016

..... animal activists can work only within the legal framework and within lawful boundaries.

While PETA is not generic for animal activism, „pashu‟ is certainly generic for all animals. For animal rights activists, cats, cows, camels, cockroaches and
caterpillars are all sacred and equally deserving of protection if and when abused. Animal rights activists do not privilege native cows over imported breeds
when both end up in slaughter houses – for them the right to life and the right to die with dignity for street dogs and elephants is the same. But what jallikattu
supporters do not know is that the PCA Act (1960) is ridden with holes and does not apply to all kinds of cruelty.

PCA Act (1960) does not protect all animals, does not prevent all cruelty

There is very little animal activists can do to stop cattle trafficking to Kerala via Tamil Nadu and to Bangladesh via West Bengal because while the PCA Act is a
central Act and is applicable in all states and union territories (except Jammu and Kashmir), cow slaughter is a state subject and different states have different
laws governing it. So while animal rights activists can seize trucks transporting cows and cattle to Kerala for slaughter, for violating transportation laws and rules,
they cannot stop the trucks because they are transporting cows and cattle to Kerala for slaughter; at least not until Tamil Nadu, under pressure from jallikattu
supporters, makes a law which prohibits transport of all cattle outside state borders similar to the law in Rajasthan, which bans all movement of camels outside
Rajasthan‟s state borders.

Horrific cruelty perpetrated against animals under three categories, even when the most terrible form of pain
and suffering is inflicted on them, is kept out of the purview of the PCA Act:

 Animals we use as lab animals for experiments

 Animals we kill for meat, and


 Animals we kill in the name of religion

Section 11 of the PCA Act deals with all kinds of cruelty, all kinds of pain and suffering and specifies those areas which fall outside the jurisdiction of the Act.
Thus, Section 11 (3) (a) says –

Nothing in this section shall apply to the dehorning of cattle, or the castration or branding or nose-roping of any animal in the prescribed manner.

While all three procedures inflict immense pain on the cattle, which humans with typical insouciance justify as being necessities of domestication, there are non-
painful methods of roping and castration which are neither implemented nor enforced. ...

Section 11 (3) (e) of the PCA Act says:

Nothing in this section shall apply to the commission or omission of any act in the course of the destruction or the preparation for destruction of any animal as
food for mankind unless such destruction or preparation was accompanied by the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering.

Humans coined phrases like “useless animals” that may be slaughtered because they are unproductive and their continued upkeep is uneconomical. Humans
coined the phrase “unnecessary pain or suffering”, which implies there is something in the form of „necessary pain and suffering‟, and that necessary pain and
suffering is legal, lawful and legitimate.

Section 14 of the PCA Act, which deals with „Experiments on Animals‟, says:

Nothing contained in this Act shall render unlawful the performance of experiments (including experiments involving operations) on animals for the purpose of
advancement by new discovery of physiological knowledge or of knowledge which will be useful for saving or for prolonging the life or alleviating suffering or for
combating any disease, whether of human beings, animals or plants.

Notwithstanding all the noble objectives listed under this section, the bottomline is that we use animals in experiments and we inflict unimaginable pain and
suffering on them – all in human interest only.

Section 28 of the PCA Act legitimises stunning the animal with a sledge hammer or stun gun before its head is cut off for food or for religion in temples, or slit its
throat to die a slow and painful death for halal meat, or as sacrifice during Bakrid or other festivals:

Saving as respects manner of killing prescribed by religion: Nothing contained in this Act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the
religion of any community.

The large, gaping holes in the PCA Act (1960) contain the answers to all uninformed and wild allegations against animal activists about why are they
not doing anything about beef, cow slaughter, sacrifice etc. ...