“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mohandas K. Gandhi
It is surprising to realize that in spite of the Indian society being familiar with the concept of animal barbarism and its related terminologies, the Animal Protection Index 2014 has graded the Indian laws in this particular regard as grade C. The Animal Protection Index is provided by the World Animal Protection, an international body working for the protection of animals, ranks 50 countries around the globe according to their legislation and policy commitments towards the protection of animals. It further provides narratives to the governments of the respective nations to work for the improvement of the lives of the animals.
The researcher would like to shed more light on the concept of animal bestiality, RTI filed to National Crime Record Bureau and interview analysis of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Mumbai)official.
Bestiality is a type of sexual offense against animals in which animals are used to satisfy the sexual desires of humans with or without developing emotions. It is mentioned under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860 that orders punishment for offenders but they often escape from the proceedings due to either lack of evidence or being unidentified. There are rising concerns to get the bestiality under the Prevention of Cruelty Act 1960.
Mathews, the author of The Horseman (1994) explains that there are generally two sets of people who actually indulge themselves in sexual activity with animals. First, ‘bestialists’ who have one or more sexual contact with animals, or when they do not find any normal outlet and they prefer harassing them. Second,‘zoophiles’ who prefer animals as sex partners as they are more emotionally attached to it or their preference are animals in itself. Every pet owner develops feelings towards their pets and gives their utmost care and love; however, bestiality or being a zoophile amounts to cruelty and is just not acceptable under the laws of nature.
History of bestiality is much more horrifying and chills the human spine. Actually interested ones can have access to my original research on bestiality. Nevertheless, if I describe briefly, India is a nation of vast religions and practices, and every religion has some or the other animal to worship. Various historical temples exhibit carvings or stone images depicting humans and animals having sexual intimacy. Even the teachings of erotic art students about the spiritual connection of sexuality are baffled with the pictures of human beings having sexual connection with animals and birds. Specialists accept that the portrayal of bestiality in art is nevertheless a characteristic expansion of the structure- both as the impression of real factors of life and as craftsmen’s translation of fantasies and legends. Indian folklore is loaded with occurrences where people and creature structures have been incorporated as though to show the parentage. Rishyashringa for example is said to have destined to a deer by a recluse. The most well-known of this blended species delineation is the symbol of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha (half man, half lion). No doubt we agree on this point of view that our art and culture if depicts something it has some message behind the same. However, now we have no such justification as to why there is even the existence of bestiality and why people are indulging themselves in such activities. But the main concern right now is how these voiceless are being given justice for this cruel act.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and lacuna in Prevention Of Cruelty Act 1960
In 2018 with the landmark judgment Navtej Singh Johar Vs Union Of India, the honorable Supreme Court decriminalized Section 377. This paved way for PETA to urge that unnatural offense against animals under Section 377 should not be removed from the act. The reason being it was the only legislation that actually punishes the offender when it comes to offenses like bestiality. Further, PETA urges The Ministry Of Home Affairs and the Ministry Of Law And Justice that there should be an amendment to the Prevention to Cruelty act 1960 and bestiality should be made an offense under the act. Since at present when such cases are reported an offender is booked under section 11(1) (a) and 11 (1) (l) of the said act and under section 377 and 429 of Indian penal code.
As Section 377 punishes the sexual relation as an offense and termed as an unnatural offence and awards punishment with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
So the question arises: Is it a stringent law? Yes!! But then where lies the lacuna? what happens after FIR is unknown. What are the steps taken against an offender are again unknown? Also, when it comes to the successful decisions of cases it is like looking for a needle in a haystack . Moreover, treating animals cruelly as if any person beats, kicks, over-rides, over-drives, over-loads, tortures or otherwise treats any animal so as to expose it to excessive pain or suffering or causes or, being the owner permits, mutilates any animal or kills any animal (including stray dogs) by using the method of strychnine injections in the heart or in any other unnecessarily cruel, is not at all justified.
So if we do the bare reading we can analyze that sub-clause includes everything but there are no commentaries which actually define the term unnecessary pain or suffering and here silence doesn’t mean that it will include bestiality. Thus for the same reason, a separate law is demanded. No doubt from subsection (l) we can somehow draw the inference that any sort of insertion in the private part of an animal which ultimately amounts to its death is conclusive but the death caused by human genitals and by sexual activity is not covered which means that there is a requirement of amendment in the act. Thus, time and again and already mentioned many times PETA request to amend the present law is really a need of an hour.
INTERVIEW ANALYSIS OF PETA OFFICIAL
In order to see the clear sky an interview with the Youth outreach Assistant of PETA that is one of the most recognized organizations working for the welfare of animals was conducted and following were the conclusions drawn:
First, they have filed around 15 cases of bestiality in the past 3 years working with various law enforcement agencies and other organizations. However, the result was saddening since half of their cases were either shut down or were not even reported. Thus, the clear idea about the current situation of offenders and their cases is lacking.
Second, IPC the only last resort for them have no fruitful outcome. So for time being they were trying that section 377 should remain active for animals. A few examples to mention include: a First Information Report filed against eight men for gang-raping a pregnant goat to death in Haryana; and a man from West Bengal was arrested under Section 377 for dragging a stray dog into his house and raping the animal; a dog sexually abused in a public toilet in Poway by a 19-year-old person; community dog sexually abused by a security guard in the society toilet in Chembur; community dog from Kandivali sexually abused by security guard by inserting a rod inside her, and later killing her; community dog in Kharghar sexually abused by a man working at a Dhaba and the list goes on should come to some justifiable end.
Third, they demanded a separate law and an amendment in the legislation The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 since nations like the USA, United Kingdom and Australia as they have separate law under the animal welfare legislation. Also, under section 377 hard punishment can only be seen in statute books and had not been practically applied.
Last, on suggesting the means and methods of controlling bestiality it was provided that this offense can only be prevented with strong legislation and further they quoted various websites where people can approach them to help the helpless.
So, ultimately what we drew from all this? ‘Pushing a wall aiming to move’. This means, asking for something which we fail to guarantee for the female section of our society then how for these animals. Here lies an irony.
Indian society is now considered to be at the highest when it comes to crime against the human and other beings. Even animals like cows, dogs, goats, claves are also been dragged and made victims of their unquenched thirst. All sorts of cruelty are seen from leashing them in the scorching sun to keeping them hungry. Now we sapiens found another way to torture them i.e. bestiality. Unfortunate in India there are various authentic bodies and set of an organization that keeps track of abuses against animals. But now you all must get a habit of taking surprises either National Crime Record Bureau or Animal Welfare Board of India, ministry of environment, forest and climate change, etc. have any track of these cases.
We can see that in a civilized society like us wherein such modernized world women are still not safe from going out in dark or even in daylight now the next victim of men are animals. As they are easily available and targeted for the sexual urge.
An 18-year old unmarried, non-proficient male of low financial status brought to the crisis division for medicinal assessment with a supposed history of bestiality. The patient had 6 kin and he was third in the birth request. The family lived in an unhygienic area where dairy ranches are being worked. He had submitted sex with two calves and during the demonstration, one calf died. Human DNA was distinguished from the butt-centric and vaginal swabs of calves in a criminological science research facility which affirmed the claim. The patient had not demonstrated any sentiment of blame or regret related to the demise of a calf and admitted about the hetero practice which recorded the case in the class of brutishness or bestiality.
As revealed by the patient, the huge life occasions during his youth and immaturity contained seeing abusive behavior at home (father and sibling beating their spouses), the demise of the mother when he was 13 years of age, and began devouring liquor at 16 years of his age are all triggering factors. Another key educational experience justified an extraordinary notice was that he was explicitly manhandled (homosexuality) by grown-up guys on various occasions at the age of 10-11 years.
Also, three researchers conducted a study using 381 institutionalized or adjudicated male Offenders, the average age of 11.3. The offenders were given an anonymous self-report Questionnaire which found that 6% admitted to having done sexual acts with an animal. Of the 6%, 14 of the 24 juveniles indicated they had ‘rubbed my private parts against it’, Ten of the 24 admitted to ‘putting my penis into its private parts’, 2 of the 24Juveniles indicated they had ‘inserted an object into the animal’ and six had “inserted a Finger into the animal, researchers noted that 23 of the 24 individuals who reported prior acts of bestiality also admitted to having committed sexual offenses against humans.
So from various case studies, the common outcome was that the first one who shares abusive relations with his family commit such an offense. Secondly, people dealing with dairy farming have more indulgence. Third, people involved in animal cruelty are likely to result in crime against the human body.
The following table shows the number of such cases in India in the recent past. The present researcher even filed an RTI where none below data was retrieved.
TABLE NO. 1
|SR NO.||OFFENCE UNDER IPC||PLACE OF INCIDENT||VICTIMS||AGE OF ACCUSED||YEAR|
|1||S.377||New Delhi||Calves||18yr||December 22 , 2015|
|2.||S.377||Ahmedgharh , Bulandhsehar||Baby calf||25yr||August 5 2015|
|3.||S.377||Kerala||Dog||–||February 18 ,2016|
|4.||S. 377||Betul , MP||Cow||50 yr||March 29 , 2016|
|5.||S. 377||Kochi Kerala||Goat||23 yrs||June 22 , 2016|
|6.||S. 427, 377||Hyderabad||Pregnant bitch||22yrs||Oct 25 2016|
|7.||S. 429 , 377||New Delhi||Female puppy||34yrs||September 1 2017|
|8.||S. 377||Uttrakhand||Cow||23 yrs||November 12, 2017|
|9.||S. 377||Mahisagar , Vadodra||Goat||34 yrs||April 29 2017|
|10||S. 377||Mumbai||Dog||41 yrs||September 10 2017|
|11.||S. 377||Powai, Mumbai||Stray dog||19 yrs||Oct, 15 2017|
|12.||S. 377||Mewat , Haryana||Pregnant goat||8 men||July 2018|
|13.||S377||Sundarnagar , bhopal||cow||55yr man||July 2020|
|14.||S 377||Maharashtra||Female dog||40 yr man||July 2020|
ANALYSIS OF NATION CRIME RECORDS BUREAU DATA
Since data related to bestiality was not easily available on any of the sources, the last resort was of the filing of RTI. It was addressed to the Ministry of Home Affairs, National Crime Records Bureau to Joint Assistant Director. The reply was so disappointing as the authorities provided the following points
- The concerned authorities stated they have data from 2014 onwards that means they have no record before that.
- The concerned authorities have no separate cases and information regarding bestiality.
- They further advised that police are the state subject under the seventh schedule of the constitution of India and it was advised to retrieve the concerned data directly from states /UT.
- They further advised certain links where data can be available and after analyzing the same only blur picture was painted.
Since data which is available from 2014 is an amalgamation of both set of unnatural offenses i.e. consensual sex and bestiality. Even if the former was struck down in 2018 it was very difficult to distinguish as to how many cases of bestiality and consensual sex were individually being reported. Since no such bifurcation was there in the concerned data, it was another failure for the researcher and yes a new door opened and new grey area created for further research.
The literature review suggests that many authors consider bestiality as a mental disorder that can be cured. Others consider it more pleasurable (that’sgroseto even think about it). However, bestiality is not only the most trivial and obscene expression of human behavior but attracts sexually transmitted diseases.. Furthermore, the research shows one who indulges in such activities is likely to commit heinous crimes against human subjects in later stages. The United Kingdom has always been very harsh when it comes to sexual activities with animals. After all, it has been graded as A by the Animal Protection Index. The consummated fortification with animal and the slightest penetration of male genital is an offense and is punishable up to 10 years to till life. Even an attempt of such an act was punishable with imprisonment. So all the above show our government has worked over all these years and the legal aspects of the said issue.
Thinking rationally, we being humans can express the pain we go through by shouting, equal retaliation, etc. But these animals just cannot express which gives more courage to all those bestial sitting in our society wearing the mask of humanity. I feel sorrier for the authorities who are working for animals, as both the human atrocities and animal suffering are on the same pedestal. We sure need more updated laws and stricter punishments for bestiality. Humans are not the only concern rather ones nations’ animals should also be the prime concern. In the end, the purpose is not only to highlight bestiality, but the cruelty against animals, may it be animals being abused for the circus, mass killing and recently the new trend of celebrating Diwali with animals (elephant died with pineapple filled with crackers).
To summarize, first, the Indian penal code is actually not conclusive since justice is neither seen nor done. Second, there is a requirement of better legislation that could provide a stricter deterrent. Third, the analysis of the NCRB report clearly shows that bestiality as an unnatural offense is not an area of concern for the government thus extraction of data from their report was actually a tough job. Fourth, with the strict laws, we actually need more authorities or organization which could actually help us to gather better data and which can keep a track of all these cases. Lastly, we cannot take laws in our hands but what we can do is to extend our hand to one who is in need of it. Many of us may not be animal lovers but what we should contribute at least something that would just keep our humanity alive instead of turning it blindfolded.
The researcher has more details and made a draft of the amended law so concerned can contact on email: email@example.com
LLM (Christ University, Bangalore)
Paralegal volunteer (District Legal Service Authority, Jalandhar)
- Aggarwal A. , “a new classification of zoophilia” 2011 j forensic leg med. pg 73-78
- Fleming, W. M., Jory, B., & Burton, D. L. (2002). Characteristics of Juvenile Offenders Admitting to Sexual Activity with Nonhuman Animals. Juvenile Offenders and Sex with Animals, 31- 45.
- Mathews, The Horseman (1994), ambert NY Prometheus books
- Navtej singh johar v. union of India writ petition (crml ) no. 76 of 2016, decided on 6 September 2018
- Goat’s Rape Prompts PETA India Appeal to Ensure Bestiality Remains Punishable Under the Indian Penal Code Available at: https://www.petaindia.com/blog/goat-rape-peta-bestiality-punishable-under-the-indianpenal-code/ last modified august 2018
- Goat’s Rape Prompts PETA India Appeal to Ensure Bestiality Remains Punishable Under the Indian Penal Code Available at: https://www.petaindia.com/blog/goat-rape-peta-bestiality-punishable-under-the-indianpenal-code/ last modiefied august 2018
For those who witness cruelty: https://www.petaindia.com/blog/9-things-to-do-if-you-witness-cruelty-to-animals/ To help animals in distress: https://www.petaindia.com/blog/helpinganimalsindistress/
- The researcher vide various applications under The Right to Information Act, 2005 approached the above public authorities. No information on the issue is available.
- Sujata satapathy ,Rajani Kanta swain, “An Adolescent with Bestiality Behaviour: Psychological Evaluation and Community Health Concern”2016 janvol 41(1) , Indian journal of community medicine, pg no. 23-26,
- “Woman jailed in legal first after disgusting behavior with her pet” , express https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/803632/first-person-convicted-bestiality-Amber-Finney-Ohio last updated May 2017
- “Delhi teenage boy ends up in hospital after having sex with calf”, Dec 22, 2015, available at http://www. ibtimes.co.uk/india-delhi-teenage-boy-ends-hospitalafter-having-sex-calf-1534520
- Youth booked for raping 7 months old calf in Bulandshahr”, Hindustan Times, Aug 05, 2015., available at .https://www.hindustantimes.com/India/up-youth-booked-for-raping-7-month-old-calf-inbulandshahr/story-qSidGE6zLmsRdizspH0peM.html last accessed December 2019
- Dog raped by a man in Kerala, says animal rights body”, 18 Feb2016,available at https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-dog-raped-by-man-says-animal-rights-body-2179325december 2019
- Drunk man ‘rapes’ cow in Betul”, The Times of India, Mar 29, 2016.
- “Jisha rape case: Accused also had sex with goat, mutilated private parts”, Deccan Chronicle, Jun 22, 2016
- Delhi man held for killing the pregnant dog, having sex with the carcass”, The Times of India, Oct 25, 2016.
- Taxi driver has sex with a female puppy that later bled to death”, 1 Sept. 2017, available at https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/taxi-driver-has-sex-female-puppy-that-later-bled-death-1637539 last accessed 28 December 2019
- “Man has sex with cow and enrages right-wing activists in India”, Aug. 4, 2017, available at https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/man-has-sex-cow-enrages-right-wing-activists-india-1633498 last accessed 29 December 2019
- “Man arrested for unnatural sex with a goat”, The Times of India, Apr 29, 2017. 139 “Housing society security guard arrested for sex with dog”, The Times of India, Sept. 10, 2017.
- Mumbai man arrested for unnatural sex with stray dog”, The Times of India, Oct. 15, 2017. 141“
- Pregnant goat dies after 8 men gang-rape it in Haryana “ , India today ,july 2018https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pregnant-goat-dies-after-8-men-gang-raped-it-in-haryana
- Sarah Wheeler, The morality of bestiality, http://fifine.org/whitefangsTexte/86-Englisch.html
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