The Animal Welfare Board of India is a body established by the government under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.1 The Board is established for the promotion of animal welfare and for protecting animals from being subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering. It can sue people for violating the law regarding cruelty to animals.
The Board has various powers and functions.2 It advises the government on making legal rules and amendments with regard to animal welfare, and implements several practical measures to lessen the suffering of animals. The Board also provides financial assistance to animal welfare organizations, animal shelters etc.
An important duty of the Board is to impart education in relation to the humane treatment of animals and to discourage the public from inflicting pain or suffering on animals.3 For this purpose, the Board issues guidelines from time to time, such as Guidelines with respect to Pet and Street Dogs. These guidelines are meant to increase public awareness on animal laws and advise people on how to deal with animals. As such, they are not legally enforceable.
However, the guidelines are in line with the Act, and the Act contains rules that are legally enforceable. The Act has several rules that forbid cruel treatment to animals under the law and penalise people for violating the same.
- Section 4, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
- Section 9, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
- Section 9(k), Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960
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