“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” (Gandhi, 1931).
Any living organism which possesses certain characteristics that distinguish it from plants is regarded as animals. There is no single criterion that can be used to distinguish all animals from all plants. Animals usually lack chlorophyll and the ability to manufacture foods from raw materials available in the soil, water, and atmosphere. Animals generally are limited in their growth and most have the ability to move in their environment at some stage in their life history (McGraw-Hill, 2002).
An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal is regarded as animal (Houghton, 2002). Animal means a mammal, bird or bee (OIE, 2013). Animals are classified as;
1. Domestic animal: A relatively docile animal kept by humans for work or food or as a pet (Kernerman, 2010).
2. Wildlife: means feral animals, captive wild animals and wild animals (OIE, 2013).
3. Companion animal: A pet (or companion animal) is an animal kept for a person's company, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals and sport animals which are kept for economic reasons (Kernerman, 2010).
4. Poultry: means all domesticated birds, including backyard poultry, used for the production of meat or eggs for consumption, for the production of other commercial products, for restocking supplies of game, or for breeding these categories of birds, as well as fighting cocks used for any purpose. Birds that are kept in captivity for any reason other than those reasons referred to in the preceding paragraph, including those that are kept for shows, races, exhibitions, competitions or for breeding or selling these categories of birds as well as pet birds, are not considered to be poultry (OIE, 2013).
5. Feral animal: means an animal of a domesticated species that now lives without direct human supervision or control (OIE, 2013).
Importance of Animal
Animals are depicted with high importance throughout history and modern society through rich displays of human and animal interactions in various patterns like engravings, sculptures, paintings, and drawings. Humans and animals sustain a relationship of mutual benefit. Although modern uses of animals differs throughout the world, humans have relied on animals for various aspects such as a source of food, clothing, knowledge, energy, power, transportation, companionship, entertainment, service, and capital and in turn animals rely on humans to provide food, shelter, companionship, and protection.
Conditions of Animals in Nepal
The condition of Animals in Nepal is very impoverished and pathetic. Many of the pet and domestic animals do not get care or accept from their owners. They are poorly kept and often kicked out of their homes as they grow old and unproductive. On the streets the conditions is even worse. A lot of stray dogs and cows can be visibly seen almost in every street. Monkeys are widely visible on the highways. Their large numbers, live in extremely bad conditions. Many suffer from the agony of maggots, infected wounds, skin disorders, worms and parasites. Road accidents often result every day. Cases of wild animals trafficking, killing and poaching are widely present (DNPWC, 2006). Abuse of both domestic and wild animals from unintentional neglect to malicious killing can be widely seen in Nepal.
1.1.1 Animal Cruelty
Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival. Any act that contributes to the pain or death of an animal or that otherwise threatens the welfare of an animal (Agnew, 1998). Ascione (1993) defined animal cruelty as socially unacceptable behaviour that intentionally causes unnecessary pain, suffering, or distress to and/ or death of an animal. Especially, Animal Cruelty is categorized into two types: Neglect and Intentional Cruelty.
Neglect is the most common type of animal cruelty (Arluke, 2006; Carlisle-Frank and Flanagan, 2006; Patronek, 2008; Solot, 1997). Neglect occurs when an owner fails to provide the animal with adequate food, water, shelter, or veterinary care. Severely restricting an animal’s movement full-time by tethering it to a stationary object or keeping the animal in a cage is the most common, and most visible, type of neglect.
Intentional cruelty is when an individual purposely inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal, such as deliberately maiming, torturing, sexual abuse or even killing an animal. It can be usually an indicator of a serious human behavior problem.
Criminology is the study of crime from a social and individual perspective. Beirne (1995; 1999) suggests that criminology has been characterized by a “speciesist” approach to the study of crime and violence. Criminology attempts to explain why certain things are considered crimes in certain societies and explain any variances between societies and cultures. In some cases, things considered crimes in some areas may be legal in others. Criminology hopes to explain why there are differences and why there are some crimes that are nearly universal. It also seeks to explain why societies may choose some of the punishment options they do. Beirne (1999) argues that animal cruelty should be drawn into the realm of criminological inquiry as it has importance on multiple levels:
1. Animal cruelty may signify other actual or potential interpersonal violence;
2. Animal cruelty is, in many forms, prohibited by criminal law;
3. Violence against animals is part of the utilitarian calculus on the minimization of pain and suffering;
4. Animal cruelty is a violation of rights; and
5. Violence against animals is one among several forms of oppression that contribute, as a whole, to a violent society.
A criminal action; a proceeding instituted and carried on by due course of law, before a competent tribunal, for the purpose of determining the guilt or innocence of a person charged with crime. This requires;
1. Court of law: A court is a tribunal, often a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law (Walker, 1980).
2. Judge: A judge is an official who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. A person who has the power to make decision on cases brought before a court of law.
3. Prosecutor: The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution. Prosecutors are typically lawyers who possess a law degree, and are recognized as legal professionals by the court in which they intend to represent the state.
4. Witness: A prosecution witness is someone who will provide evidence for the prosecution’s case.
5. Evidence: Evidence is anything presented in support of an assertion.
1.2 Justification of Study
- The study on present condition of animals in Nepal is limited to great extent.
- Abuses of animals are widely visible.
- Very little information is available on animal cruelty/abuse.
- Animal cruelty is a hinder for animal welfare and rights.
- Reporting of criminal cases are rare.
- Prosecution of animal cruelty cases is very few.
Therefore, this study was conducted to access the current situation of animal in Nepal. This study was conducted to addresses the aspects of cruelty and criminology against animals. This study is aimed to identify areas in which the right and welfare of these animals may be improved.
We hope that this paper will highlight the vibrancy of scholarly research and the evolution of policy issues related to animal abuse. It is also our hope that a cadre of young professionals as well as seasoned scholars will be drawn to this subject and enhances its future development.
1.3.1 General Objective
- To assess the status of animal cruelty, criminology and prosecution in Nepal and to make appropriate recommendation for their mitigation.
1.3.2 Specific Objective
- To collect the information on animal cruelty, criminology and prosecution through site survey in Hospitals, Police station, Traffic police office, Court of Law, National Forensic Laboratory, DNPWC.
- To assess the knowledge and attitude of veterinarian through questionnaire survey.
- To analyze the animal crime statistics in Nepal and provide appropriate recommendations.
In order to draw out the maximum amount of relevant information from the Nepal and abroad, this review took a three tier methodology: Initial scoping, cross-referencing, and supplementary data collection and analysis.
3.1 Initial Scoping Phase
Searches for relevant literature were conducted on several academic databases, including: the Web of Knowledge and International Bibliography of the animal welfare. In addition, internet searches were carried out to identify publicly available documentation from government and non-governmental sources.
Following the initial scoping phase, several iterations of cross-referencing, citation and author searches were carried out to build a comprehensive and detailed library of information related to crime and related issues. Care was taken to assess the quality of the material investigated with respect to degrees of bias and methodological imperfections.
3.3 Data Collection
Finally, up-to-date official crime statistics were collated and analyzed to include information not necessarily referred to in the available literature
3.3.1 Questionnaire Survey
Questionnaire survey was conducted for the veterinarians of Nepal. Questionnaire was sent through email to 356 veterinarians and 56 were submitted through direct visit, a total of 412 veterinarians were included in this survey.