The Uttarakhand Forest Department registered a preliminary offence report (POR) against two men who allowed their dog to attack a displaced civet cat – a species protected in India under the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972 – and then viciously beat the animal to death using a stick. The action taken by the forest department follows a complaint filed by PETA India along with video evidence of the gruesome act.
Civet cats are protected under Schedule II, Part II of the WPA. The POR registered against the accused cites sections 2(16), 9, 39, and 51 of the Act. The offence is non-bailable and is punishable by up to seven years in jail and a minimum fine of Rs 10,000. The perpetrators are currently at large, and the forest department is looking for them
The natural habitat of civet cats must be conserved and restored by the government to prevent human-animal conflicts. Effective measures for managing such conflicts include erecting physical barriers (such as solar-powered electric fencing), providing forest dwellers with interim relief programmes to curb retaliatory action, offering village residents alternatives to forest resources, evacuating people from illegally encroached forestland, exploring and supporting alternative livelihood options, and raising awareness of animal protection efforts among villagers.
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 or 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.