BOOKS: Animal Laws of India
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2007:
Animal Laws of India
edited by Maneka Gandhi, Ozair Husain, & Raj Panjwani
Universal Law Publishing Co. (c/o <firstname.lastname@example.org> or
1,236 pages, hardcover. 995 rupees (about $22.00) plus shipping.
Indian animal advocates often claim that India has the laws
most favorable to animals of any nation, and the most favorable
courts at the upper appellate levels.
Thus Indian animal advocacy tends to emphasize improving
enforcement and trying to move as expeditiously as possible through
often incompetent and corrupt local courts to reach the upper levels.
This distinctly contrasts with the emphasis of activism in the U.S.,
where seeking passage of new laws generates many times as many
appeals and e-mails as seeking enforcement–although activity on
behalf of stronger humane law enforcement has increased exponentially
since the advent of Alison Gianotto’s enforcement-oriented web site
Animal Laws of India (Third Edition) includes all the major
animal protection laws of India and individual Indian states under
one cover, with summaries of the most important court precedents and
instructions on how to pursue cases using each law.
The intent of editors Maneka Gandhi, Ozair Husain, and Raj
Panjwani is to help local humane societies to bring prosecutions
against animal abusers. Including the laws of each state is
worthwhile because many common offenses involve transporting
livestock or wildlife from one state to another. At times there can
be significant advantages to prosecuting a case in one of several
different possible venues. Animal Laws of India can help law
enforcers decide where, for instance, to intercept a trainload of
cattle en route to illegal slaughter.
Animal Laws of India also enables people trying to draft or
pass legislation in other nations to see what has succeeded in
India–or, in some cases, has won passage without being
enforceable. Some of the legislative topics are specific to Indian
culture and customs, but many others occur throughout the world.
While western nations, for instance, have not had to deal with
donkey-trains and bullock carts in more than a century, the relevant
Indian legislation could be helpful in Africa and Latin America.
The heft of Animal Laws of India is worth a mention. If one
is going to “throw the book” at an offender, this one could have a