f a person has witnessed cruelty to animals, they can follow these steps in order to save the life of the animal as well as prevent the abuser from harming other animals1:
Veterinary care: An abused animal may suffer with serious injuries and thus, lack of immediate medical care may be fatal. So, the animal must get immediate veterinary care
Knowledge of the Law: Websites such as Animal Welfare Board of India (http://www.awbi.in/) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (http://www.moef.nic.in/) explain the law related to animal protection and thus, a person concerned about animals should be familiar with the laws including the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Document the crime: When a person witnesses a wrongdoing, they should take a photo or video of it to document the details of the crime. Important details such as licence plate number or visual of the abuser should be visible. Statements from other witnesses can also be collected along with statements from the veterinarian relating to the animal’s physical and health conditions or the cause of death.
File an FIR: The crime must be reported to the police immediately. The police can investigate only after the filing of the FIR. A private complaint can also be filed in court.
Inform other appropriate authorities: In addition to the police or the court, other authorities can also be contacted such as Animal Welfare Board or local Animal Welfare district officials.
Notify animal protection groups: The local animal protection groups and organisations, animal welfare officers, veterinarians can be contacted for extra help.
Conduct follow up: Follow up with the local authorities, garner media coverage and get legal help.
For immediate assistance, if you see any animals being harmed, you can complain to the police by calling 100 or call PETA(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India emergency number (0) 98201 22602. Another option is to reach out to the Animal Welfare Board of India website (http://www.awbi.in/hawo.html) and contact the animal welfare officer in your district.
- PETA India, accessed at: https://www.petaindia.com/blog/9-things-to-do-if-you-witness-cruelty-to-animals/.
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