Giving Compass' Take:

• Alokparna Sengupta argues that India has made significant efforts toward animal welfare reform but still needs to view animal protection as a social issue and address it as such.

• What are other ways that NGOs and government entities can get involved in animal welfare projects?  

• Read more about why India might turn a blind eye to animal rights.

Since early civilisation, animals have been an integral part of human experience. We have domesticated them for both agriculture and companionship. However, over time our kinship with them has morphed into abuse in which the welfare of animals is highly compromised. Now we see animals purely for their utility; in fact, a perception has been created that humans always have precedence over animals. It has now become common practice to inflict cruelty upon them.

In comparison to other animal welfare issues (those that extend beyond what we have highlighted above), people’s awareness tends to be limited to issues pertaining to wildlife exploitation; in particular, tiger conservation and human-wildlife conflict (for example, with leopards and snakes). But animals are abused across the country and world, whether in laboratories, farms, or pet shops; and the abuse is often justified for human good.

India has prohibited ivory trade since 1972, when the Wildlife Protection Act came in; however there are still concerns about the illegal trade and the animals’ treatment in captivity. Their exploitation is masked by activities they are forced into, such as leisurely rides; being chained in temples to give blessings; and being hired out for festivals, weddings, and celebrations, where they are often tormented amongst noisy, frenzied crowds.

Read the full article about animal welfare in India by Alokparna Sengupta at India Development Review.