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 Environment, Forest and Climate Change. 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.
- Animal welfare and rights in India
- Conservation in India
- Environmental policy of India
- National Human Rights Commission of India
- The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers
- Animal Welfare Board of India headquarters shifted from Chennai to Haryana, March 2018
- "Introduction", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed August 27, 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 August 27, 2014.
- "Financial Assistance", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed August 27, 2014.
- "Draft Animal Welfare Act 2011", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed August 27, 2014.
- " Protection Laws for guidance of Police, HAWOs, NGOs & AWOs", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed August 27, 2014.
- "Publications", Animal Welfare Board of India, accessed August 27, 2014.
- "AWBI Launches Humane Education Project", Animal Citizen, Animal Welfare Board of India, July-Sept. 2012, p. 2.