Police in India have arrested a man for killing a stray dog by repeatedly beating him with a rod and then slowly cutting his legs off with a knife, lawyer and animal rights advocate Meet Ashar said in a statement on social media.
The murder of the dog happened in Gwalior district in Madhya Pradesh in the middle of the country. Police officer Amit Sanghi told newspaper Times of India (TOI) that the incident happened a month ago and that the man had taken revenge because the dog allegedly bit his son. But local activists said the incident happened less than ten days ago.
A resident told TOI that the man didn’t stop after breaking the dog’s spine and legs. He started cutting his legs while the dog kept screaming. Some villagers were able to film it and shared the video on social media, which caused national outrage.
“We have never come across such a heinous act of cruelty in Madhya Pradesh. The accused needs mental evaluation and counselling. Cases like these signify the need for stronger laws against animal abuse,” Priyanshu Jain from animal welfare organization People For Animals (PFA) said.
Animal cruelty cases are rising in India, and animal rights advocates have long asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase animal abusers’ punishment.
First-time offenders convicted under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which has not been updated since 1960, get a fine of only 50 rupees ($0,67).
Ashar adds that animal abusers can face up to five years in jail under Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, so it’s essential to book animal abusers under both sections (Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code 1860). But updating Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is necessary to convict animal abusers.
In July, labrador Bruno was hung by a hook and beaten to death in Kerala in India. In June, two men in Rajasthan were arrested for cutting off three legs of a dog with an axe, the dog died.
Last year, India also made international headlines when three boys tied the legs of a dog and threw him in a lake, where the animal drowned.
“We commend the Gwalior police for taking steps to send the message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated,” Ashar, who works for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, said.
He recommends that the man receives a psychiatric evaluation and counselling, as abusing animals indicates a deep psychological disturbance. He adds that people who can inflict such pain on animals often also harm humans.
Ashar gives the example of Ameerul Islam, who raped and killed animals before raping and murdering Kerala law student Jisha.
“There is a very well-established connection between the two,” psychologist Mary Lou Randour from Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) told The Animal Reader about the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. “When you see animal abuse, you’ll likely see domestic violence.”
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