New Delhi, Sep 18: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine a plea seeking directions to declare the use of artificial reproduction technique (ART) on animals as cruel and illegal.
A bench, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, initially expressed its reservation on entertaining the case, saying that the court is not a science expert, but then agreed to grant a hearing.
Also granting the request of the petitioner to appear in person, the bench issued notice to the Centre, the Animal Welfare Board of India, the National Biodiversity Authority, and others, seeking their response on the plea, which claimed that the ART is unconstitutional, as cruelty is being meted out to animals.
“Reproduction is a basic natural and biological need as well as urge of all living beings, save and except monosexual organisms. No authority can arbitrarily trample or destroy the rights or needs of any living being, including animals, by means of policy or practice, which in itself is against nature and natural principles,” said the plea, filed by Madurai-based S. Venkatesh.
The plea contended that ART performed on livestock/animals are violative of some provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960, the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
The petitioner argued that artificially reproducing as a principle/policy is by itself cruel and through these artificial processes, pain is inflicted on animals. Citing the Constitution, the plea said it has clearly recognised the welfare of animals.