The Animal Welfare Board of India is a statutory body, established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (No. 59 of 1960), functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAH&D). The mandate of the Board is to promote animal welfare generally and for the purpose of protecting animals from being subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering, in particular. The Animal Welfare Board of India was started under the stewardship of Late Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, well known humanitarian. The Board has been the face of the animal welfare movement in the country for the last 57 years.
The Board consists of 28 Members. The term of the Board is for a period of 3 years.
The Board advises the Central Govt., States and UTs' on the issues related to animal welfare. The Board is continuously working for strengthening the legislative framework and best practices to prevent the unnecessary pain or suffering to animals.
The AWBI recognizes animal welfare organizations (AWOs)/societies and provides grants-in-aid under various Central schemes. The board grants pre-shoot permission (PSP) and issue certificate to films/Ad-films/TV serials/documentary under Performing Animal (Registration) Rules 2001.
In the past five decades, the Board has played a key role to create awareness and sensitize the citizens regarding sentience of animals and animal welfare.
The Five Freedoms outline five aspects of animal welfare as:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express (most) normal behavior
- Freedom from fear and distress