New Delhi Court: Birds Have Right To Freedom, Dignity
A high court in New Delhi, India, has made history by acknowledging that birds have the right to “live with dignity,” fly wherever they want without being trapped in a cage, and their “fundamental rights” protect them from cruelty.
“I am clear in mind that all the birds have fundamental rights to fly in the sky and all human beings have no right to keep them in small cages for the purposes of their business or otherwise,” stated Justice Manmohan Singh.
The decision was made in regards to a case in which a number of birds were rescued from Md Mohazzim who claimed to be the birds’ owners but as NGO People for Animals indicated and the court found, was indeed keeping them in small cages and selling them for profit. After the birds were seized, the trial court released the birds back to Mohazzim, leading the NGO to appeal to the high court on the decision.
“This court is of the view that running the trade of birds is in violation of the rights of the birds,” stated the high court’s decision on the matter. “They deserve sympathy. Nobody is caring as to whether they have been inflicted cruelty or not despite a settled law that birds have a fundamental right to fly and cannot be caged and will have to be set free in the sky. Birds have fundamental rights including the right to live with dignity and they cannot be subjected to cruelty by anyone including claim made by the respondent (Mohazzim).”
The New Delhi police as well as Mohazzim have been notified of the court’s decision and their response is requested by May 28.
This is not the first time India has taken action in recognizing animals as sentient beings with fundamental rights. The nation’s court banned captive dolphins’ shows in 2013 alleging they have a high level of intelligence that makes them ‘non-human persons’. Household product testing in animals, religious animal sacrifices, foie gras and dog fighting are also prohibited in the country in order to protect the basic rights of animals.
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