Kerala HC upheld animals’ right to food and shelter amid Corona lockdown.

April 7,2020

by Rajas Salpekar

A petition was filed against the denial of his permission to get to Cochin Pet Hospital for buying a specific brand of cat food, “Meo-Persian”, for the three cats that he maintains amid COVID-19 lockdown. As per the Kerela Police guidelines, a permit had to be obtained based on an affidavit for stepping out of one’s home to buy essentials.

The petitioner points out that he being a vegetarian is unable non-vegetarian food to three cats he manages. He also said that in times where the state’s Chief Minister has called upon people to feed stray dogs, a denial of permission to travel a pet hospital to buy cat food stands unfounded. The petitioner also contended that under Sections 3 and 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, animals have been guaranteed  a right to food and shelter.

The petition also mentioned a 2014 judgment of the Apex Court rendered in the case of Animal Welfare Board of India v. A.Nagaraja (2014), wherein it had been stated , “every species has a right to life and security, subject to the law of the land, which includes depriving its life, out of human necessity. So far as animals are concerned, in our view, “life” means something more than mere survival or existence or instrumental value for human-beings, but to lead a life with some intrinsic worth, honour and dignity.” The judgment lies

The petitioner’s prayer was responded to on Monday by a division bench of the Kerala HC Mr Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Hon’ble Mr Justice Shaji P Chali ruled in his favour and said that he can go out to buy cat food based on a self declaration along with the court order. The court also said that it would pass a general order for alike situations which would help any person in future, stuck in a similar situation.

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