And, the animals will be treated as 'persons'.
In a pleasant development for those who love animals, the Uttarakhand High Court has ruled that all the residents of the state will be guardians to the animals and ensure their well being. In its order, the court accorded the status of “legal person or entity” to animals in the state. “They have a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person,” the court ruled.
Endowing upon the Uttrakhand residents the duty to ensure animal welfare and protection, the court said that all the people in the state are guardians of animals. “…to protect and promote the greater welfare of animals including avian and aquatic, animals are required to be conferred with the status of legal entity/legal person,” the bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lokpal Singh said.
“All the citizens throughout the state of Uttarakhand have hereby declared persons in loco parentis as the human face for the welfare/protection of animals,” it added.
The bench further issued directions ranging from animal safety to the way they should be used for commercial purposes. The court also banned the use of spike or other sharp tackle or equipment on the animals. Further, the court directed that no animal can be kept in harness if the temperature exceeds 37°C or drops below 5°C.
Taking to animal safety, the court highlighted the need for fluorescent reflectors in carriages and animals????, certificates of unladen weight of vehicles and compulsory shelter of suitable size for horses, bullocks and stray cattle. It also directed the veterinary doctors of Uttarakhand to treat any stray animals brought to them or by visiting them.
As per law, there are two types of persons – natural persons or human beings and artificial persons who are also known as juristic persons, juridical entity or a legal person other than a natural person. The animals of Uttarakhand will now be treated as juristic persons under the law.