Animal Welfare Board of India Current Affairs - 2019
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The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has submitted the affidavit with the findings of the first Survey of Elephants in Captivity to the Supreme Court.
Findings of the Survey
The Survey was undertaken after the order of the Supreme Court which had asked the Union Government to identify elephants in captivity and whether their owners have an ownership certificate while hearing a writ petition filed by Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. The findings of the Survey are:
- There are 2,454 elephants in captivity across the country of which 560 are in possession with forest departments and 1,687 with private individuals.
- 664 of the total captive elephants in the country are without ownership certificate while there are 85 in zoos, 26 in circuses and 96 in temples.
- 58 per cent of all captive elephants is concentrated in two states: 905 in Assam and 518 in Kerala.
- The affidavit also points at some discrepancies in data especially from the State of Bihar.
The Survey was ordered after the Animal Welfare Board of India failed to produce data on the number of elephants held captive.
Animal Welfare Board of India
The Animal Welfare Board of India was established under the Provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,1960 to oversee the implementation of the animal welfare laws in the country.
The Board consists of 28 Members including 6 MPs (4 from Lok Sabha and 2 from Rajya Sabha). Previously based in Chennai, it is now headquartered at Ballabhgarh in Haryana.
Tags: Animal Welfare Board of India • Assam • Bihar • Kerala • Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 • Supreme Court • Survey of Elephants in Captivity • Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre
Government has shifted headquarters of Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to Ballabhgarh in Faridabad District of Haryana from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It was shifted after consultation with AWBI for better coordination between the Environment Ministry and AWBI for carrying out the animal welfare activities.
The Rule 3 of the Animal Welfare Board (Administrative) Rules, 1962 mentions that the headquarter of AWBI shall be at New Delhi or at such other place as central government, may, after consultation with the Board direct.
Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI)
AWBI is a statutory advisory body established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It frames a range of rules on how animals ought to be humanely treated everywhere. It has also frequently litigated to have stricter laws to ensure animals were not unduly harassed or tortured.
Initially it was within jurisdiction of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Later in 1990, the subject of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was transferred to Environment Ministry.
The Board consists of 28 Members, who serve for a period of 3 years. Its headquaters is located at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Several government organisations, along with animal rights activists and parliamentarians, are represented on the Board.
Functions of AWBI
It recognises Animal Welfare Organisations by granting them recognition if they meet its guidelines. It 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.
It suggests changes to laws and rules about animal welfare issues. It also offers guidance to organisations and officials such as police to help them interpret and apply the laws. It issues publications to raise awareness of various animal welfare issues. Its education team gives talks on animal welfare subjects, and trains members of the community to be Certified Animal Welfare Educators
It provides financial assistance to recognised AWOs, who submit applications to the Board. Categories of grants include Regular Grant, Cattle Rescue Grant, Provision of Shelter House for Animals, Animal Birth Control (ABC) Programme, Ambulance for animals in distress and Natural Calamity grant.