- Animal Welfare Board of India
The Animal Welfare Board of India, the first of its kind Animal welfare organization to be established by any Government in the world, was set up in 1962, in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Acts 1960 (No.59 of 1960).
Rukmini Devi Arundalepioneered the setting up of the Board, with its Headquarters at Chennai, and guided the activities of the Board for nearly twenty years till her demise in 1986.
The Animal Welfare Board of India was set up in accordance with Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 (No.59 of 1960). The Board consists of 28 Members.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act 1960(59 of 1960) was enacted in December 1960 with the object of preventing infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering to animals.
The Govt. of India, Ministry of Food and Agriculture constituted the Animal Welfare Board of India on 19th March 1962. The subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred from Ministry of Food and Agriculture to the Ministry of Environment and Forests with effect from 28th March 1990.
The Board of ‘The Animal Welfare Board Of India’ (AWBI)
Shrimati Rukmini Devi Arundale pioneered the setting up of the Board, with its Headquarters at
Chennai, and guided it, for nearly twenty years till her demise in 1986.
The Board consists of 28 Members, as follows:-1. Chairman 2. Vice - Chairman 3. Inspectors General of Forests 1 4. Animal Husbandry Commissioner 1 5. Rep of Miny. of Home Affairs 1 6. Rep of Miny. of HRD (Education) 1 7. MPs - Lok Sabha 4 8. MPs - Rajya Sabha 2 9. Individuals 3 10. Humanitarians 3 11. SPCAs 3 12. AWOs 3 13. Rep. of Indian Board for Wildlife 1 14. Rep. of Indian Veterinary Assn. 1 15. Rep. of Indian Medicine 1 16. Rep. of Allopathic Medicine 1 17. Municipal Corporations 2
Functions of the Board
* To keep the law in force in India for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under constant study and to advise the government on the amendments to be undertaken in any such law from time to time.
* To advise the Central Government on the making of rules under the Act with a view to preventing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals generally, and more particularly when they are being transported from one place to another or when they are used as performing animals or when they are kept in captivity or confinement.
* To advise the Government or any local authority or other person on improvements in the design of vehicles so as to lessen the burden on draught animals.
* To take all such steps as the Board may think fit for amelioration of animals by encouraging, or providing for the construction of sheds, water troughs and the like and by providing for veterinary assistance to animals.
* To advise the Government or any local authority or other person in the design of slaughter houses or the maintenance of slaughter houses or in connection with slaughter of animals so that unnecessary pain or suffering, whether physicrd or mental, is eliminated in the pre- slaughter stages as far as possible, and animals are killed, wherever necessary, in as humane a manner as possible.
* To take all such steps as the Board may think fit to ensure that unwanted animals are destroyed by local authorities, whenever it is necessary to do so, either instantaneously or after being rendered insensible to pain or suffering.
* To encourage by the grant of financial assistance or otherwise, the formation or establishment of Pinjara poles, rescue homes, animals shelters, sanctuaries and the like, where animals and birds may find a shelter when they have become old and useless or when they need protection.
* To co-operate with, and co-ordinate the work of associations or bodies established for the purpose of preventing unnecessary pain or suffering to animals or for the protection of animals and birds.
* To give financial assistance and other assistance to Animal Welfare Organisations functioning in any local area or to encourage the formation of Animal Welfare Organisations in any local area which shall work under the general supervision and guidance of the Board.
* To advise the Government on matters relating to the medical care and attention, which may be provided in animal hospitals, and to give financial and other assistance to animal hospitals whenever the Board think it is necessary to do so.
* To impart education in relation to the humane treatment of animals and to encourage the formation of public opinion against the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering to animals and for the promotion of animal welfare by means of lectures books, posters, cinematographic exhibitions and the like.
* To advise the Government on any matter connected with animal welfare or the Prevention of infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering on animals.
Policy of ‘The Animal Welfare Board of India’ (AWBI)
# The Constitution of India Provides Animal Protection by Article 51 Ensuring "Compassion to all Living Creatures". Further, in pursuance of the recommendations of Datter Singh's Committee for providing prohibition of slaughter of cows and its progeny, the constitution in its Directive Principle of state policy provided protection to cow and its progeny by prohibiting slaughter of all milch animals, which especially identified cows and calf. In the above backdrop and constitutional mandate, the Govt. Of India by a Legislative Enactment by Parliament established the Animal Welfare Board of India under the provisions of the prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
# The Animal Welfare Board of India has been constituted vide chapter II, Sections 4 to 10 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.Section 9 lays down the functions of the board, while section 10 gives the Powers to make regulations, subject to the previous approval of the central government, to make regulations for carrying on its affairs and functions.
# The primary sources of funding of the AWBI are grants from the Government of India. However contributions, subscriptions, bequests and gifts will also be encouraged.
# The Objective of the Board are to prevent any action resulting in the infliction of pain or cruelty and misuse of animals in the country. The Board should advise the government with regard to the development of instruments of law that will fulfill this objective.
# The board is unequivocal about its commitment to vegetarianism on ethical, moral and medical grounds.
# The Board in pursuance of the above constitutional and statutory mandate and directive have already resolved and demanded from the govt. of India, prohibition of meat export. In addition, the board is taking several other programmes for the saving animal life, very extreme pain of killing and slaughter like dog killing and cow slaughter etc. The Cattle population in India being the highest as ¼ of the world population about - 26 crores, the increasing emphasis is about its protection from slaughter in addition to the saving of dog population from mass killing by municipal corporations.
Guidelines of The Functioning of The Board
In order to institutionalize the animal welfare movement in the country, the board will take action:
* To establish State Animal Welfare Boards, to define their duties and to ensure that necessary provision of funds are made for the functioning of the board by the state.
* To establish District Animal Welfare Boards which will monitor the implementation of PCA Act and the rules made there under, and to take action for the welfare of animals in the district.
* To make a database of NGOs in each district and to see that they liaise with and are helped by the State and District Boards and the local administration in their work.
* To establish one SPCA in each taluka, which will have a hospital/shelter, attached to it on land given by the local administration and which will have inspectors employed by it to check the abuse/misuse of animals.
* To derecognise SPCAs that are nonworking or misusing their mandate.
* To encourage the formation of animal welfare organizations and to give financial and other assistance.
* To monitor the activities of such NGOs. In order to increase the number of groups working in the field of animal welfare and generate awareness on issues the Board shall:
* Make official master trainers/representatives of the Board whose duties will include monitoring all animal welfare activities and organizations working in the district, which is allotted to them and to conduct regular programmes of training and awareness generation for potential NGOs. They will also be put in charge of inspections in the districts.
* To conduct awareness programmes or help NGOs conduct awareness programmes though various media including pamphlets, TV and radio, workshops for specific issues.
* To conduct training/education programmes of specific target groups such as journalists, police, teachers and government officials.
* To conduct training Programmes of people already in the animal welfare movement in order to increase their effectiveness. In order to strengthen the laws and implement the ones already in place, the board shall:
* Maintain a library of all existing laws which would include Constitutional Law, Central and state Acts, Rules, Regulations and bye-laws, Notification and Govt. Orders with judicial decisions upholding their implementation for animal protection, prohibition of slaughter, prohibition of animal sacrifices and prohibition and prosecution for them and other offences causing cruelty to animals. The Board will also suggest enactment of new laws or amendment in them or make within its powers such rules, regulations or issue administrative directions for enforcing and implementing them.
* Make a legal wing with a panel of lawyer's city wise that can be called to contest cases.
* Be proactive in initiation of cases involving issues of animal welfare.
* Issue a monthly newsletter on legal issues.
* Make suitable provision to assist NGOS with their legal cases. In order to ensure that a network of shelters/hospitals is spread throughout India, the Board shall:
* Help with financial aid in the running of such shelters.
* Assist in the augmentation of shelters already in existence and in providing for the construction of water troughs etc.
* The financial grants would be as far as possible in consonance with the board's decisions fixing the parameters and criteria for them in respect of the various NGOS functioning and requirements, capacity and working conditions and standards. The present criteria as fixed by the Board would continue till the Board further amends them.
* Recommend the funding of institution to the parent ministry for the construction of shelters/hospitals by established groups. In order to make sure that the organizations that have been provided with funds from the Ministry or the board have utilized the funds prudently and honestly, the board will build up an effective system of inspections. This will be done by:
* Investigating all first time NGOS before any funds are released to them.
* Nominating Investigators who will be paid for their inspection.
* Blacklisting Fraudulent or incompetent organizations and informing the State and District authorities of their blacklisting.
* Moving for recovery of funds given to them. The AWBI shall arrange for the transport or reimburse the costs incurred for the following:
* Where animals have been misused/abused or likely to be slaughtered and have to be transported to safe rescue centers and shelters and maintained as in the case of -
** Animals rescued from laboratories requiring rehabilitation
** Animals rescued from trains, trucks and other automobiles/ vehicles
** Animals rescued from airports, from where they are being/illegally smuggled out/in
** The Board would be provided additional budget for the activities by the Ministry or the Govt. at the initiation of the ministry. The board shall take all possible action to:
* Enforce the Animal Birth Control programme throughout India and will take every step necessary to see that the killing of dogs is also stopped by municipalities and replaced with vaccination and sterilization programmes
* Take every step to ensure that the sacrifice of animals for religious proposes is stopped.
* Take every step to ensure that the dissection of animals in schools, which has now been stopped by CBSE and ICSE, is also stopped by State Education Boards and is replaced by other models or systems of education.
* Regulate the use of animals in films and television by strictly enforcing the Performing Animal (Amendment) Rules, 2000 and regulating the granting of permission for the use of animals in the same, ensure presence and functioning of the appointees on the Censor Boards and by sending inspectors to the shooting of films and other locations where animals are being used for the purposes of entertainment. All producers and other people connected with the making of films be informed of the rules from time to time and it should be ensured that they have obtained the necessary approvals from the Board. The AWBI prohibits traveling menageries and exhibitions of animals.
* Regulate any form of the use of animals in sports through racing, rides. Bullock cat races and fights are forbidden under law and action be taken against any individual, organization or State Government using them. The Board also to monitor the laws ad Rules which regulate horse racing.
* Monitor the use of animals in experiments and take action when animals are subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering or are unnecessarily used in any form of scientific or commercial venture.
* Inspect slaughterhouses, both municipal and private, to ensure that the - BSI rules, the PCA Act and the Rules made there under and other relevant Acts are being adhered to Legal action be taken against slaughterhouses where rules are being violated.
* Regulate and oversee the transport of animals to such slaughterhouses is carried out in a legal and humane manner.
* Advise the animal husbandry departments with regard to the working of their veterinary and husbandry centers.
* Prohibit the use of animals such as birds, monkeys, mongooses, snakes, bears etc for street entertainment. All such animals will be confiscated and rehabilitated.
* Prohibit all blood sports such as dog fighting, cockfighting, ram fighting, snake - mongoose fighting etc.
* Prohibit the introduction of air or any chemical substance by injection into milch animals. Dairies that are using illegal chemicals/hormones/antibiotics etc. be shut down and legal action taken against them.
* Ban the release of impounded animals from shelters and pounds for biomedical research laboratories, training and educational institutions and pharmaceutical houses. Any animal welfare organization that voluntarily gives or sells animals to these institutions be blacklisted and proceeded against legally.
* Work towards the licensing and taxation of all dog and cat sellers.
* Check on factory farms and those animal husbandry institutions and commercial ventures that are involved in the raising, housing and selling of animals/birds for the purpose of meat. Any violations of the BSI and Prevention of Food Adulteration Act specifications will result in action taken.
* Encourage the use of natural pesticides and cow dung, cow urine for purposes of fertilizer, alternative sources of energy, medicinal purposes etc.
* Regulate the export/import of species and advise the government on the banning of particular species.
* Respond to complaints about the misuse and abuse of pets by their owners.
* Encourage and take whatever steps necessary for the improvement in the design of vehicles so as to lessen the burden on draught animals.
* Take action in respect of any activity that concerns the amelioration of pain and suffering to animals. The Board would ensure participation of its representatives in the various committees and activities of the Planning Commission, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Commerce and other Ministers including Animal Welfare for effectively co-ordination in suggesting and advising methodology for implementation of the above objectives, more particularly constitutional and statutory mandates for protecting from killing and slaughtering the animals. Its main thrust is in respect of the prohibition of dog killing and cattle killing and to provide and prohibit cruelties to all other animals also. It would also seek appropriate funding budget allotments and help from all the Ministries in addition to the parent Ministry of Animal Welfare, wherein it would like to evolve and participate in the Ministry's decisions of funding in all respects direct or indirect.
ANIMAL WELFARE BOARD OF INDIA, 13/1, Third Seaward Road, Valmiki Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai-600 041. Phone: 044-24454935, 24454958 Fax : 044-24454330. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* [http://awbi.org Animal Welfare Board of India, Official website]
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