The Times of India ---- Thursday 8 June 2000
(From: "Merritt Clifton, editor, ANIMAL PEOPLE." <email@example.com)
KOCHI: In a significant judgment that could have an impact on show business and animal welfare, the Kerala High Court on Wednesday ruled that animals have inherent rights of dignified existence akin to the fundamental rights of citizens.
Justice K Narayana Kurup and Justice K V Sankaranarayanan, observed, "Though not a homo sapien, they are also being entitled to humane treatment. In many respects they behave better than man, they kill only to eat and eat only to live. They do not practise deception, fraud or falsehood as humans do, and all except the very lowest, exhibit some degree of intelligence ranging from learned responses to complex reasoning. What is more, they do not proliferate and deplete the planet resources."
The ruling follows a circus owners' petition challenging Union government's ban on training of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers and lions in circuses and other establishments, upheld the order and observed that it was time society realised the importance of animals and their crucial role in ecology.
The judges extensively quoted reports from various parts of the globe on animals sufferings under human treatment and its consequences if continued unchecked.