PETA India fired off a letter to the Director General of Police (DGP), Kerala, calling for Indian Youth Congress workers who reportedly killed a cow or a calf to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and to receive both psychiatric evaluations and counselling. In its letter, PETA noted that the viral video of the crime shows it took place in full view of the general public, including children. Various media outlets reported that the workers were demonstrating their anger over the central government’s recent notification concerning the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, which don’t ban slaughter but aim to eliminate cruelty to animals at marketplaces.
PETA commended the Kerala police for filing a First Information Report under Section 428 of the Indian Penal Code, which applies to animals valued at Rs 10 or higher. The group also urged that all the accused be booked under Section 429 instead as well as all other relevant sections of the law and be required to undergo psychiatric evaluation and counselling. Offences under Section 429 can be punished with imprisonment for a term of up to five years and a fine, whereas under Section 428, the maximum potential jail time is just two years.
In the letter to the DGP, PETA India pointed out that causing animals to suffer in this manner is apparently a punishable offence under Sections 34 and 429 of The Indian Penal Code (which applies to animals valued at more than Rs 50).
It also violates Section 11(1)(a) and (l) and 11(3)(e) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, as well as Rule 3(1) and Rule 3(2)(iv) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001, and Regulation 2.1 of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011.
PETA also noted that research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals don’t necessarily stop there – many move on to their fellow humans. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has found that a history of cruelty to animals regularly appears in the backgrounds of serial rapists and murderers.