November 30, 2021 10:30:37 am
The Delhi High Court Monday summoned Animal Welfare Board of India’s (AWBI) secretary and pulled up the statutory body for not complying with the court directions pertaining to the condition of captive animals who were in circuses that shut down during the pandemic. It directed the AWBI to disclose the whereabouts of all performing animals kept captive with such circuses and listed the case for hearing on February 9.
The division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said it will not hesitate to initiate contempt action against the officer for not complying with the order. “There is utter non-compliance with our directions,” it said.
Stating that the court was concerned with the welfare of animals, the bench said the lack of care and affection can prove fatal for them. “It appears that the AWBI is not sensitive to this need,” said the court, adding that the board was completely unaware of where the animals were presently housed and under what condition.
There appears to be a complete dereliction of duty on part of the AWBI, said the court. The court was hearing two petitions related to the protection of animals. PETA, one of the petitioners, told the court that the AWBI was yet to respond to an application seeking to know the condition of the animals in these circuses.
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