Environment Ministry official to chair Animal Welfare Board

  • The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory advisory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), will now be permanently chaired by a senior MoEF official, according to a notification made public earlier this month.
  • “This is the first time that a government official is chairing the body and shows that the Centre wants to ensure its diktats are implemented,”
  • Differences between the AWBI and the MoEF, especially on the conduct of the jallikattu, which brought Chennai to a standstill earlier this year, was a key reason for the Centre to exert primacy in the management of the organisation, two people familiar with the AWBI’s workings.
  • The Chennai-based organisation, which derives its legal structure from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, 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. Several government organisations, along with animal rights activists and parliamentarians, are represented on the Board.


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