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Let The Animals Be in Wild and Freedom

When Supreme Court banned the bull-taming sport, Jallikattu, in 2014, it stated that “animal has also honor and dignity which cannot be arbitrarily deprived of and its rights and privacy have to be respected and protected from unlawful attacks”. Since then, one leopard has been bludgeoned to death in Mandawar village near Gurugram and recently, a young leopard was chased away like a criminal by the locals on the fringes of the Yamuna Biodiversity Park. Thankfully, the Delhi Forest Department has trapped it and will probably send it to Saharanpur.

Such incidents bring to light the ethical and legal issues which arise in the way the wild animals that venture into human-dominated landscapes are dealt with.

Under Article 21 of the Constitution, people in the country are guaranteed the right to life and personal liberty “except according to procedure established by law”. In pretty much the same way, as per provisions of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, wild animals are also provided protection to life and personal liberty of which it can be deprived of only after following due process. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 doesn’t differentiate between animals inside protected areas and outside. Unfortunately, in our country where the law is followed neither in spirit nor in words for even humans, expecting justice for animals is a far-fetched thought. The only circumstances when a wild animal can be allowed to be captured or killed by the competent authority is when the wild animal becomes a danger to human life or is diseased or disabled beyond recovery. The humans need to realize that these animals have as much right to be born, to roam freely, to live freely, and to move freely and right to protection as any other living being.

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