The Maharashtra state animal welfare board: no meeting in past 11 years
The Maharashtra government had set up a State Animal Welfare Board (SAWB) in 1991 at the request of Maneka Gandhi, the then Union Minister of State for Environment & Forests. Later in 2008, the Supreme Court had directed all the state governments to constitute a State Animal Welfare Boards (SAWB) along with a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in each district. The mandate of the board was to ensure proper implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, along with giving suggestions for animal welfare in the state.
However, the reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Maharashtra SAWB, which falls under the Department of Animal Husbandry, hasn’t held even a single meeting in last eleven years. The reply states that after the first SAWB set up in 1991, the state government subsequently constituted SAWB for three year term in 1998, 2001, 2004 and finally in Sep, 2013. But the meeting was held only thrice in all these years, once each in 1991, 1992 and 2002. After the October, 2002 meeting the board hasn’t conducted any meeting.