Experimenting on animals is known as animal testing. Animal testing is done to ensure if treatments, products, and medications are successful. Before being tested on people, such medicines and products are examined in animals to guarantee their safety and toxicity. Animal testing is often referred to as animal research or animal experimentation. Only after a series of experiments on animals can medications, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and other goods be tested on people. Animal testing is used to determine if our food, home items, pharmaceuticals, and anything we release in the environment are safe. Scientific research and education both involve animal testing.
The Indian Constitution makes animal protection a fundamental obligation, and there are several animal welfare laws in place in India, including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 and the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 at the federal level, as well as cattle protection and cow slaughter prohibition laws at the state level.
Laws regarding Animal Research:
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 is the country's official criminal code, covering all elements of criminal law. Under Section 428 and Section 429 of the IPC, all acts of cruelty, such as murdering, poisoning, seriously injuring, or rendering animals worthless, are punishable . These laws were created to protect animals from undue pain and suffering, and similar laws are still being enacted in response to changing conditions.
Constitution of India, 1960
According to Article 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution of 1960, it is the "responsibility of every citizen of India to safeguard and develop the natural habitat, including forests, lakes, rivers, and animals, and to have empathy for all living beings,"
Under Article 48A, Directive Principle of State Policy, which states: The state will work to maintain and develop the environment, as well as the country's forests and animals.
The 42nd Amendment, which was ratified in 1976, introduced both of the constitutional requirements.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960:
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960 is India's core animal cruelty statute. The Act's goal is to avoid the imposition of undue suffering or pain on animals, as well as to reform legislation pertaining to animal cruelty prevention. Any living thing other than a human being is defined as an "animal" under the Act.
Section 11 of the Act defines various types of animal cruelty as the following:
a) Hitting, kicking, overloading, overriding, tormenting, and giving any animal pain and misery.
b) Putting to labour an old, wounded, or unsuited animal (the punishment applies to the owner as well as the user).
c) Giving any animal a harmful medication or treatment.
d) Inflicting pain and distress on an animal while transporting it in any vehicle.
e) Locking any animal in a cage that does not allow it to move about freely.
f) Keeping an animal on an excessively heavy or small chain for an excessively long time.
g) Constantly confining an animal with out any reasonable opportunity to exercise.
h) Being an owner who fails to give adequate food, water, or shelter to the animal.
i) Neglecting an animal without good justification.
j) Willfully allowing an owned animal to roam the streets or abandoning it to die of disease, old age, or impairment on the streets.
k) Selling an animal that is in agony as a result of amputation, malnutrition, dehydration, overpopulation, or other mistreatment.
l) Animals are mutilated or killed in horrible ways, such as with strychnine injections.
m) For the express purpose of entertainment, using one animal as bait for another animal.
n) Organizing, maintaining, utilising, or controlling any location where animals are fought.
The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA):
The Central Government of India established the CPCSEA under Section 15(1) of Chapter IV of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The goal of the committee is to guarantee that animals do not suffer unnecessary pain or cruelty. In order to achieve this goal, the laws on breeding and experimenting were enacted in 1998, and they have since been changed to bring the requirements up to current with changing times and to close the loopholes. In carrying out its obligations, the committee may adhere to its protocol.
The Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules, 1998: outlines the general standards for breeding and utilising animals in research, as well as rules regulating infrastructure, persons, and methods.
The Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 2013 (Amendment): prohibits the use of vivisection or dissection of animals in medical education.
The Education (Amendment) Regulations, 2014 prohibits the use of animals in pharmacy education.
The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules (Second Amendment) 2014: Animal testing for beauty/cosmetic products was outlawed in India as a result of this. Anyone who breaches the Act faces a sentence ranging from 3 to 10 years in prison or a fine ranging from Rs.500 to Rs.10,000, or both.
Sadly, authorities have continued to exploit severe flaws in the system to perpetuate the malpractices of testing and torturing the animals that are employed as test subjects, even after legislative measures were enacted to safeguard the interests of animals and their rights. Although animal testing for cosmetics and other things has been prohibited in India, it is still in practice in many places.
It is high time that the lawmakers make more stringent laws to ensure that animal testing is being completely prohibited and adequate punishment should be given not only to those who commits the crime but also to those who acknowledges it but do not take any action against it.
This article is written by Devika Mani of Amity University.