(Last Updated on : 22/07/2011)
Animal Welfare Board of India is actually a statutory advisory establishment that takes measures to safeguard animals and forms Animal Welfare Laws. The Animal Welfare Board of India or AWBI is amongst the first efforts around the globe, to take an effort to protect and conserve animals directly by the Government. The board was established in the year 1962 according to the Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Acts 1960. The Animal Welfare Board of India was initiated by Rukmini Devi Arundale
, who led the organisation and set up their headquarters in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai
. She managed the entire activities of the Animal Welfare Board of India, till her demise in 1986. Presently, Major General (Retd.) Dr. R.M. Kharb AVSM is the acting chairman of Animal Welfare Board of India.
The AWBI aims at preventing the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering to animals. Various officials related to the Government of India
are the members of the board. The general functions of the board are -
To keep the law in force in India for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals under regular inspection and to advise the government on the alterations to be undertaken in any such law from time to time.
To recommend the Central Government on the creation of rules under the Act to prevent unnecessary pain or suffering to animals generally, and more particularly when they are being transported from one place to another, when they are used as performing animals or when they are kept in captivity or detention.
To advise on improvements in the design of vehicles to the Government of India; so as to lessen the burden on draught animals.
To encourage the Board for providing money for construction of sheds, water troughs etc and by providing for veterinary assistance to animals.
To encourage by the allowance of financial assistance or otherwise, the arrangement or establishment of Pinjara poles, rescue homes, animals shelters, sanctuaries and the like, where animals and birds may find a shelter when they become old and useless or when they need protection.
The board carries out many more functions such as to give financial assistance and other assistance to Animal Welfare Organisations functioning in any local area, to impart education in relation to the humane treatment of animals and so on. The latest policy of Animal Welfare Board of India states that in order to ensure Cow Protection and to impose a total ban on the slaughter of cows and cow progeny, Government is taking suitable measures under the provisions of the prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The Animal Welfare Board of India offers special attention to animals that have been misused, abused, or likely to be slaughtered and have to be transported to safe rescue centres and shelters and maintained as in the case of circuses, animals rescued from laboratories requiring rehabilitation, trains, trucks and other automobiles and illegally smuggled.
Animal Welfare Board of India ensures participation of its representatives in the various committees and activities of the Ministry of Agriculture , Animal Husbandry, Planning Commission, Ministry of Commerce and other officials for effectively co-ordination in suggesting and advising methodology for execution of the above objectives, more particularly constitutional and legal mandates for protecting the animals from killing and slaughtering the animals. Its main motive is in respect of the prevention of dog killing and cattle killing and to provide and prohibit cruelties to all other animals also. It would also seek proper funding budget allotments and aid from all the Ministries in addition to the original Ministry of Animal Welfare, wherein it would like to evolve and participate in the Ministry's decisions of funding in all respects. The Animal Welfare Board of India specially has a check on factory farms and those animal husbandry institutions and commercial ventures that are concerned in the raising, housing and selling of animals and birds for the purpose of meat. Any violations of the BSI and Prevention of Food Adulteration Act shall result in action taken by the Animal Welfare Board of India.
The major goal of Animal Welfare Board of India is to ensure that the laws relating to animal welfare is strictly followed and also to provide support to the various Animal Welfare Organizations. For the past 47 years AWBI has represented the Indian Government for the welfare of animals in the country.