Uttarakhand High Court declares animals “legal entity”

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The Uttarakhand High Court has granted status of “legal entity” to animals, including aquatic animals and birds, in the state, while issuing a series of directions to prevent cruelty against animals.

A division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lokpal Singh ruled, “They have a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person” and accorded the unique status to the animal kingdom.

Several other decisions were taken regarding animals including directives pertaining to the amount of load to be pulled by various animals in accordance with various factors, banning of spikes or tackles and other harmful equipment on the animal and keeping animals in harness after the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celcius or drops below 5 degrees Celcius.

The order comes after a Public Interest Lawsuit was filed, seeking limitations on the movement of horse-drawn carts between India and Nepal through Banbasa town.

Featured photo by: Mrinmoy Buragohain

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