Humans are morally responsible for treating animals with love, care and affection, a Delhi court has observed while pulling up an animal welfare centre linked to Union Minister Maneka Gandhi for not properly treating injured oxen lodged there.
Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra observed that animal welfare institutions are expected to not only ensure good health of animals but also provide congenial and affable environment for them.
"With population explosion, the habitat of animals has shrunk. Because of loss of vegetation and habitat, dependence of animals on humans have increased. Humans are not only statutorily but also morally responsible to treat the animals with love, care and affection.
"The animal care institutions are specialised agencies dealing with the welfare of animals. From these institutions not only the good health of animals is expected but congenial and affable environment is expected," the magistrate said.
The court, while referring to the report submitted by the animal care centre regarding the status of injured oxen which were seized by the Delhi police, said, "unfortunately the report shows the opposite picture."
"In the present case despite being lodged in Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Center for more than six months, the remaining animals are still suffering from injuries and weakness," it said, while directing the centre to shift the oxen to another 'goshala' (cow care centre) for better care.
The court had earlier expressed displeasure over the facilities and ordered for shifting the animals to some other institution through an order of April 12.
According to the police, it seized 12 oxen which were being carried in a truck in an inhuman condition last year and a case was lodged under Delhi Agricultural Cattle Prevention Act, section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle etc) of the Indian Penal Code and under Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
Following the court's direction, the police submitted a list of 'goshalas' recognised by the government and named one Sri Krishan Goshala in North West Delhi as the nearest one which had good facilities.
"The SHO concerned is directed to make necessary arrangements in this regard. Sri Krishan Goshala is also directed to make necessary arrangements and ensure that proper medical treatment is provided to the animals to keep them in good sound health," it said while seeking a compliance report by April 21.
The seized oxen were sent last year to Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Center, whose chairperson is Maneka Gandhi, and it was reported that five animals had already died, the police said, adding that the report also stated that the animals were in injured condition and weak.
The court directed that the remaining oxen lodged in SanjayGandhiAnimalCareCenter be immediately shifted to Sri Krishan Goshala here. Earlier, the court had noted that the animals were brought at the hospital on October 9, 2015 and within a span of 4-5 months, five oxen had already died.
"The high mortality rate of animals itself shows that the infrastructure facilities and the treatment provided to the animals is not adequate," the magistrate had said.