What comprises Animal Cruelty?
Contacting the Police on the Phone:
In an emergency situation telephone your local police station or dial 100 (Central Police Control Room) Get your “Ticket number” if you have dialled 100. Get the name and designation of the police personnel if you have called your local police station. Note the date and time on both occasions. If you wish to remain anonymous you do not need to reveal your identity.
At the Police Station:
i) Approach the police (above the rank of constable) politely and briefly explain the situation.
ii) Request them to take action against the offender.
iii) If they state it is not their job to protect animals as there are far too many human problems, politely enlighten them about their role in the PCA Act, 1960 (quote the relevant sections). If in Delhi, do tell them about the Delhi Police Act, 1978 Chapter IX entitled “the Prevention of Cruelty to animal”.
iv) Refer to http://awbi.org/awbi-pdf/apl.pdf for a compendium/factsheet of Animal Protection laws for the guidance of Police, NGOs, Animal Welfare Activists and Officers.
v) Insist on their involvement and offer your help.
vi) Inform them that the injured or distressed animal shelter and not left at the police station. This will reassure them.
vii) File an FIR if necessary.
viii) Do the necessary follow up.
ix) Do praise him/her after his involvement, no matter how small.
HOW TO FILE AN F.I.R. (FIRST INFORMATION REPORT):
• FIRs are filed at your local police station when you wish to put down in record an incident which you wish to bring to the notice of your local police and at the same time seek their help in solving it. (eg. loss of wallet, train ticket, incident, or any other loss).
• Make out a detailed description of the lost animal/incident with a photograph/s (or any cruelty complaint). Address it: to the SHO (Station House Officer), of your area.
• To file an FIR, write the facts on a plain piece of paper which you yourself may prepare in duplicate, with the date, your name and address, details of the complaint and the people involved, if any.
• The officer on duty at the police station is responsible for making all the necessary entries.
• The copy of the FIR should be duly signed, stamped and dated (note the time as well) by the police station which you should keep safely.
• This is applicable not only to lost animals, but to any animal you have found (which might be lost), cruelty to animals, illegal activities with regard to animals eg. trade in wildlife-bird sellers, snake charmers, turtle traders; illegal slaughtering of animals and illegal slaughter houses; bird sellers; cruelty to animals in zoos; circuses, pets/petshops etc.
• The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 under section 11 covers a large number of cruelties and offences on the basis of which you could file FIRs.
• Insist on filing an FIR. It is your right. It is important to note that the police usually discourage the complainant from registering a FIR in cases which are not so clear. This is because once the FIR is filed, it becomes the responsibility of the police to ensure a conviction.
• Do not lose the stamped copy (by the officers on duty) of the FIR and keep enquiring about the progress. This copy is the proof that the Police have received the information.
• Please don’t forget about the well-being of the animals, make sure that you also contact an Animal Welfare Organization/activists to ensure that they follow up on the health status, rehabilitation/release of the animals in case custody.
Please share with us your experiences while dealing with the Police /lodging an F.I.R on animal cases, practical learnings end up being different than what we write here, so please be candid in your sharing for it may help someone at a later date when stuck in a similar situation. Thanks-Vasudha