Policy of the Animal Welfare Board of India
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 is 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. Statement of Policy of the board (GUIDELINES OF THE FUNCTIONING OF THE BOARD) To achieve the above policy the AWBI shall
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. 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.
D. 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.
E. 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.
F. 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 - Circuses 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.
G. 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.