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Supreme Court issues notice on plea against cruelty inflicted on zoo animals

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The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on a plea regarding cruelty inflicted on zoo animals in National Zoo in the name of breeding conservation for plants and animals, where animals are tortured in most heinous manner and are made terminally ill, and 75% of the plants are concretised.

The bench comprising Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian was hearing a plea filed by Sangeeta Dogra where a number of cases of cruelty to animals have been highlighted by the petitioner.

The petitioner has further stated that despite representation was made in accordance to Wildlife Protection Act 1972, no reply has been received from the authorities.

It has further been submitted that  “As per Indian Veterinarian Council Act 1984 Section, 30, 54, 56 medical practitioners are the competent authority to provide veterinarian upkeep to animals however as per ALL INDIA SERVICES (CONDUCT) RULES, 1968 there is no provision of IFS to be a Zoo Director or to be breeding conservation and animals care. Additionally Zoo keeper’s role for Desired and preferred is B.SC Botany, Zoology, Wildlife Sciences or M.Sc. However below 10th Standard are hired to handle these scheduled animals, who drink, smoke and beat animals with iron rods or gives electric shock to animals, and the behaviour can be noticed by taking a wire near animals and the psychological behaviour of animals where they can be seen pushing themselves in a corner.”

The petitioner has also stated that though she is constantly working and reporting to authorities to to make things better for animals, however the brutality and cruelty is increasing day by day. Further, the petitioner has run pillar-to-post to make various requests in written which are personally taken by authorities and false complaints have been made against her just for speaking for zoo animals. 

It has been pointed out that “Section 30, 54, 56 of the Indian Veterinarian Council Act 1984 has been violated which is abuse to Article 12 of the Indian Constitution.  Additional Article 14, 21, 48, 51A (g) & Article 243 of the 12th Schedule of The Constitution of India has been violated in addition to Wildlife Protection Act 1972 u/s 5 as there is no provision to hire outsiders in the govt premises, and there is a staff who has been hired from Private NGO as vet overruling Government veterinarians, private veterinarian has no vetro legal binding.”

Hence the petitioner has prayed for a direction for the appointment of Veterinarians and Zoology, Botany, Wildlife Sciences degree holders for the conservation of Animals and Plants in Zoo(captive breeding) and for the centralized administration of the entire countries zoo in one software and same to be made public for the transparency.

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The petitioner has further prayed for a direction for framing guidelines in order to fill the  lacunae with an objective to ensure and implement effective and purposeful legal framework for the protection and welfare of Zoo Animals in India, in exercise of its inherent power under Article 142 of the Constitution, in the interest of justice and fairness.

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