Animals as legal entities


  • The Uttarakhand High Court has declared that “all members of the animal kingdom including birds and aquatic life have similar rights as humans”.
  • It has also ordained that animals throughout Uttarakhand should be treated as “legal entities having a distinct persona with corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a living person.”
  • The court directed the government to constitute societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals in each district and to appoint infirmaries for the treatment and care of animals.
  • It also directed the government to “enforce the provisions of the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009.

Related Information

  • The Uttarakhand HC had in March last year in a similar order declared the rivers Ganga and Yamuna as legal entities but the order was stayed by the Supreme Court three months later..


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