After learning about videos showing that students from Delhi Technological University allegedly trapped a mouse in a small plastic box and poured boiling water on the animal, who succumbed to burns and other injuries from the heat, PETA India lodged a complaint with Police Station Shahbad Dairy. Subsequently, a first information report (FIR) was registered under sections 429 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, (IPC) and Section 11(1) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, against the students – who even mockingly organised a funeral for the mouse. The disturbing incident was brought to PETA India’s attention by a whistleblower, who posted videos depicting the killing and funeral on X (formerly Twitter).
PETA India recommends that perpetrators of animal abuse undergo psychiatric evaluation and receive counselling, as abusing animals indicates deep psychological disturbance. Research shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals are often repeat offenders who move on to hurting other animals, including humans. For example, Ameerul Islam, convicted of raping and murdering a Kerala law student, had a history of raping and killing dogs and goats. A study published in the Journal of Emotional Abuse found that 71% of abused women who sought shelter at a safe home and had companion animals confirmed that their partner had threatened, injured, or killed the animals.
The PCA Act, 1960, contains outdated, inadequate penalties for animal abuse, such as a maximum fine of only Rs 50 for convicted first-time offenders (although the IPC prescribes stronger punishments). In a proposal sent to the central government regarding an amendment to the PCA Act, PETA India has recommended significantly increasing penalties for cruelty to animals.
Witnessing cruelty to animals is an upsetting experience, but knowing how to handle the situation properly can save a life and prevent the abuser from harming other victims. Here are nine things to do if you see someone abuse an animal: