Following a complaint filed by PETA India along with video evidence, the Jind forest department registered a preliminary offence report (POR) against a man who allegedly killed a monitor lizard and hung the animal’s body on a rope. Monitor lizards are protected under Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972. The POR has been registered under sections 9, 39, 48, 51, 52, and 55 of the WPA, 1972 The offence is non-bailable and is punishable by up to seven years in jail and a minimum fine of Rs 10,000. The perpetrator was arrested, produced before a magistrate, and later released on bail by the court.
Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals are often repeat offenders who move on to hurting other animals, including humans. Communities now recognise that the abuse of any living, feeling being is unacceptable and endangers everyone. Children are taught to care for and respect animals by many schools in India- using the Compassionate Citizen programme developed by PETA India.
PETA India urges that the natural habitat of monitor lizards must be conserved and restored for their protection. PETA India also informs the public that monitor lizards eat insects and other small animals and are afraid of humans. They can usually be removed from an area by simply making a path. The group India advises calling the forest department should anyone need more help and come across this species.