Animal Welfare Board of India
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana state, is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India's Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying). It was previously based at Chennai.
The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960. Well-known humanitarian Rukmini Devi Arundale was instrumental in setting up the board and was its first chair. The Board consists of 28 Members, who serve for a period of 3 years. Its headquarters was in Chennai, which moved to Ballabhgarh of Faridabad district in Haryana state in early 2018.
The board was initially within the jurisdiction of the Government of India's Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In 1990, the subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change, where it now resides.
Concerned about the abuse of animals in research, in the board's early history, it recommended that the government create the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA). The committee was created, and the board's representative Dr. S. Chinny Krishna deposed twice before the Committee about "the dismal state of laboratories in India."
Animals in entertainment
Another early concern of the board was the cruelty involved when animals were used in entertainment. In 1964, the board published the booklet, "Circuses - Amusement for the Uncivilised". In 2001, the government passed the Performing Animals Rules, which were amended in 2005. In 2012, the Board reported that the Rules were being implemented in an effective way.
Some of the functions of the board include:
Recognition of Animal Welfare Organisations
The board oversees Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs) by granting recognition to them if they meet its guidelines. The organisation must submit paperwork; agree to nominate a representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India on its executive committee; and to submit to regular inspections. After meeting the requirements and an inspection, the organisation is considered for grant of recognition. The AWBI also appoints key people to the positions of (Hon) Animal Welfare Officers, who serve as the key point of contact between the people, the government and law enforcement agencies.
The board provides financial assistance to recognised Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs), who submit applications to the Board. Categories of grants include Regular Grant, Cattle Rescue Grant, Provision of Shelter House for looking after the Animals, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme, Provision of Ambulance for the animals in distress and Natural Calamity grant.
Animal welfare Laws and Rules
The board suggests changes to laws and rules about animal welfare issues. In 2011, a new draft Animal Welfare Act was published for comment. Guidance is also offered to organisations and officials such as police to help them interpret and apply the laws.
The board issues publications to raise awareness of various animal welfare issues. The Board's Education Team gives talks on animal welfare subjects, and trains members of the community to be Board Certified Animal Welfare Educators.
Legal rights of animals
Animal Welfare Board of India filed a case in the court against "Nagaraja" in 2014 to ask for the rights of animals, Naresh Kadyan, chairman of PFA Haryana was also petitioner with AWBI. In that case, the court mandated that the animals are also entitled to the fundamental right to freedom. enshrined in the Article 21 of Constitution of India i.e. right to life, personal liberty and the right to die with dignity (passive euthanasia).
- Animal welfare and rights in India
- Conservation in India
- Environmental policy of India
- National Human Rights Commission of India
- Mohan, Vishwa (12 April 2019). "Animal cruelty issues now under farm ministry". The Times of India. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
- Animal Welfare Board of India headquarters shifted from Chennai to Haryana, March 2018
- "Introduction", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed 27 August 2014.
- "Remembering The Board's Early Days", Dr. S. Chinny Krishna, Animal Citizen, Animal Welfare Board of India, July-Sept. 2012, p. 6.
- "Recognition", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed 27 August 2014.
- "Financial Assistance", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed 27 August 2014.
- "Draft Animal Welfare Act 2011", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed on 27 August 2014.
- " Protection Laws for guidance of Police, HAWOs, NGOs & AWOs", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed 27 August 2014.
- "Publications", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed 27 August 2014.
- "AWBI Launches Humane Education Project", Animal Citizen, Animal Welfare Board of India, July-Sept. 2012, p. 2.
- Democratic Politics Class 9. NCERT.
- Birds to holy rivers: A list of everything India considers “legal persons”, Quartz (publication), September 2019.