Posted On 29/03/2013 By In Animal Laws, Cruelty against dogs, Legal Precedence With 161 Views

Spread some love for animals in distress: Whom to petition and why in the AWBI & the Ministry of Environment and Forests!

Each time there is an animal cruelty case, petitions or demands of actions are made to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI).  AWBI is a bureaucracy within an bureaucracy (Ministry of Environment and Forests) AND subservient to it – that can’t be a recipe of pro-activeness!  Ms Menaka Gandhi is the next best stop for action – but Ms Gandhi works on a range of issues that are brought to her notice the best she can and surely she can’t be the default for all action. So is the fate of India’s animals hanging in balance on one AWBI or are there more government agencies? There ARE and this is an appeal to rope all the required institutions to get the action that we want for the animals in India. Note: This is not intended to be or to suggest a substitute for legal action, or filing cases, or lodging police complaints where those are necessitated. 

MOEF logo

MOEF is responsible for AWBI and all action on animals. And they must hear us.

 

 

 

 

In the backdrop of news such as this : “Jumbos in distress after circus abandons them” ; and in the backdrop of the daily ‘animal welfare’ grind, where fight against daunting odds for the very basic rights of animals, and for the sort of welfare and well-being that every sentient life form should be able to take for granted, the question that frequently arises is, who in India should we petition for the same.

AWBI: The usual animal cruelty petition suspect

AWBI: The usual animal cruelty petition suspect but is NOT the final word

 

Who is to be questioned, and who is to be approached, given that animal welfare seems to be a non-issue in the national scheme of things. There are laws, but they seem largely to be on paper. Additionally, the penalties, such as those prescribed under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, are pathetic, and a joke. They are no deterrent at all. In fact, they serve to emphasize that animal welfare is a non-issue, and of little relevance.

 

Consider the news article, the link to which is posted above. What it says, sadly, is this :

“When the elephants see us, they begin to perform circus tricks. We feel sad seeing them starve and go without care,” said Santhosh K S, a native of Punnapra. “The smell from their dung is unbearable. Authorities concerned should take immediate steps to shift them to a safe place,” he said. Heritage Animal Task Force (HATF), a forum for animal-lovers in the state, approached the state government demanding protection for the elephants.

“From 2010, union forest minister Jairam Ramesh put an end to the display of jumbos at circuses was banned after the elephant was declared a national heritage animal. minister issued this order based on the recommendations of the Mahesh Rengarajan Commission. The commission also had recommended that the union ministry allot Rs 500 crore towards rehabilitation of elephants.

The government was supposed to undertake measures for rehabilitation,” said HATF secretary V K Venkitachalam. “However, the union ministry did not allot a fund. This has resulted in a situation where neither the state government nor the forest department has any idea as to the process of rehabilitating elephants that belong(ed) to circus groups,” he said.

These elephants are clearly suffering badly, because though their display at circuses was stopped, the Union Ministry forgot to allot the recommended Rs. 500 crores for their rehabilitation !!!

In fact, whether a scheme for their rehabilitation was planned out before the Government “made news” with banning the display of jumbos at circuses, is highly doubtful.

The knee-jerk reaction when confronted with issues such as these, or abject abuse, and mindless cruelty that animals are easily subjected to, is to write to the Animal Welfare Board of India. But is the Animal Welfare Board actually empowered, or at least, invested with adequate infrastructure, including man power, and perhaps even the funds required to address various animal welfare issues, and combat the cruelty that is rampant? We think not.

The Animal Welfare Board of India functions under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. Visiting the web-site of the MOEF reveals to us that in the section titled About the Ministry, this is what the Ministry is projected as being and doing :

“The primary concerns of the Ministry are implementation of policies and programmes relating to conservation of the country’s natural resources including its lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals, and the prevention and abatement of pollution.”

And,

“The broad objectives of the Ministry are:

    • Conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife
    • Prevention and control of pollution
    • Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas
    • Protection of the environment and
    • Ensuring the welfare of animals”

Obviously therefore, our focus must shift to, or in any case be equally pointed at, the UNION MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS, and the Minister, and Secretary, and other concerned officials and functionaries, for the myriad animal welfare issues that confront us day in and day out (needless to state, this is not a substitute for legal action, or filing cases, or lodging police complaints where those are necessitated).

To invite attention to the rampant cruelty that animals are routinely subjected to, and the apathy and indifference, whether at the central, state, or district level, or among members of the general public, PLEASE WRITE TO :

  • Mrs. Jayanthi Natarajan, The Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests : mosefgoi@nic.in
  • Shri V. Rajagopalan, Secretary, The Minister, Ministry of Environment: secy-moef@nic.in

Specifically for WILDLIFE ISSUES, or where a wild animal such as a monkey or an elephant is involved”, WRITE/ PETITION TO the following :

  • Mrs. Jayanthi Natarajan, The Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests : mosefgoi@nic.in
  • Shri V. Rajagopalan, Secretary, The Minister, Ministry of Environment: secy-moef@nic.in
  • Shri S.S. Garbiyal, ADG (Wildlife), Ministry of Environment & Forests : ssgarbyal@yahoo.com
  • Dr. S.K. Khanduri, Inspector General of Forests & Wildlife, Ministry of Environment & Forests: igfwl-mef@nic.in

 

For DOMESTIC ANIMAL CRUELTY ISSUES, such as cases involving companion animals – dogs and cats, or involving cattle, equines, etc., and cruelty at pet shops, or to dogs with breeders, or about back yard breeding, or at slaughter houses, or about illegal slaughter, or cruel illegal transportation of animals for slaughter, etc., WRITE/ PETITION TO:

  • Mrs. Jayanthi Natarajan, The Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests : mosefgoi@nic.in
  • Shri V. Rajagopalan, Secretary, The Minister, Ministry of Environment: secy-moef@nic.in
  • Shri S.S. Garbiyal, ADG (Wildlife), Ministry of Environment & Forests : ssgarbyal@yahoo.com
  • Dr. S.K. Khanduri, Inspector General of Forests & Wildlife, Ministry of Environment & Forests: igfwl-mef@nic.in
  • Shri Hem Pande, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forests : hempande@nic.in
  • Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. R.M. Kharb, Chairperson, Animal Welfare Board of India : chairmanawbi@gmail.com
  • The Board of The Animal Welfare Board of India : animalwelfareboard@gmail.com

The monkey’s not just on AWBI’s back, but on the Ministry of Environment and Forests & the Wildlife gentlemen, and ladies’ too. For the animals that you love and are in distress spread some love!

 

 

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