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Vedant Vaishali Mainkar, the student coordinator of Maharashtra National Law University's PG diploma program 2022, said that animal rights must be incorporated into the curriculum of law schools. Anyone who has an interest in animals and is a graduate can take this course, said Mahvish Kazmi, faculty coordinator, MNLU, Mumbai. However, students who had not yet completed their third year at the MNLU were also permitted to join.
Post Graduation in Animal LawOnly a handful of institutions offer programs in animal law at any level in the country, making it a very nascent field of study. In most institutes, the subject was introduced either in or after 2020. An animal welfare diploma program was established by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in 2020, and by MNLU Mumbai in August 2021. There is no diploma or degree programme at NLU Odisha, but a certificate course in animal law and protection is occasionally offered.
What is the importance of an animal law course?After the launch of the master's degree programme, former vice-chancellor of NALSAR Faizan Mustafa said, "A link between animal cruelty and human violence has been demonstrated, along with the link between animal health and public health". It is important to inform students about animal rights and animal welfare laws.
A credit course on animal rights should be offered by law schools and colleges, Mainkar recommends. If not a complete 60-hour programme, they can make it 30 hours, which is two or three credits, in order to make sure everyone is aware of animal rights. The NALSAR centre studies aquaculture, wildlife, gaushalas, slaughterhouses, battery cages, etc.
Hybrid reaching, research, casesIn order to combat Covid-19, many animal welfare programs were initially offered online during the lockdown. From the beginning, NALSAR was an online and distance learning program, with study materials posted online, but to write the exams students have had to come to campus since 2022. The hybrid model will be gradually introduced into all programmes by 2022-2023, with more time spent on campus.
Research, project work, and litigation are also conducted by NALSAR students with the help of the Animal Law Centre teachers. As an example, the students participated in the litigation against Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport that takes place during Tamil Nadu's Pongal festival. The Supreme Court had banned the sport several times, but due to protests from people, a new ordinance was passed in 2017 to allow it to continue.
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