PETA India Renews Call for Sexual Abuse of Animals to Be Included as a Cognisable Offense

Posted on by PETA

Since the arrest of a man for raping a dog in Mumbai this month in a high-profile case is just the latest in a string of similar incidents, PETA India is calling attention to its February appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Giriraj Singh to amend The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960, to include sexual assault on animals as a cognisable offence. We first made this appeal in 2018 to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in the wake of reports that eight men allegedly gang-raped and killed a pregnant goat in the town of Mewat in Nuh district in Haryana, leading to arrests. We have also long been appealing for stronger punishments under the PCA Act.

In 2019, following complaints filed with local police by a local animal rights activist and PETA India, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against a man for allegedly raping a female stray dog in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. The year before, a complaint by PETA India and another local animal rights activist led to an FIR being filed against a man for allegedly raping a female stray dog in Jaipur. In 2016, we called for the arrest of Vellore medical students who, according to eyewitnesses, used a blanket to catch a female bonnet macaque and tied her by the hands, legs, and neck. They also thrashed her with sticks and belts, impaled her with a sharp object, broke her legs and jaw, raped her with a rod, and killed her. These are just a few examples.

Acts of cruelty to animals indicate a deep psychological disturbance. Research in psychology and criminology shows that people who commit acts of cruelty to animals often don’t stop there – many move on to hurting humans. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has found that a history of cruelty to animals is one of the traits that regularly appear in its records of serial rapists and murderers.

Examples of such individuals include Ameerul Islam, who used to rape and kill dogs and goats before he was sentenced to death for raping and murdering law student Jisha in Kerala. Convicted criminal Joseph Bateson of Northern Ireland – who allegedly sexually assaulted farmed animals – was found guilty of 17 counts of gross indecency with a child and of indecent assault after he sexually abused a 6-year-old boy. And American criminal Jerry Cook was convicted of cruelty to animals and assault and battery following an incident in which he raped a dog – fatally injuring her in the process – and attacked the owner of a home he was burgling. Cook’s history of violence began nearly two decades earlier, when he was convicted of the first-degree rape of a human.

Previously, PETA India had requested that the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Law and Justice retain the criminalisation of bestiality – the sexual assault of an animal by a human being – under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code while amending the wording to decriminalise sexual acts between same-sex human partners and between other consenting adults. That wording has been retained.

India's Animals Are Suffering Because of Weak Penalties for Cruelty