#HAWOs (Hon Animal Welfare Officers) needed NOW @ states & districts 2 stop #AnimalCruelty
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Who you gonna call? Yes, HAWOs!
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is complex to say the least. Add to that the whole complication of a national structure the AWBI(Animal Welfare Board of India) , the (finally set up) state structure of KAWB (Karnataka Animal Welfare Board) and the 30 District SPCAs (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) which are still work in progress for Karnataka. It’s been very uphill for us. Plus the AH&VS (Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Sciences) Department in charge of the KAWB have gone through 5 Secretaries, 4 Ministers 4 Commissioners and 4 Directors in 2.5 years! Just when we deal with someone, the person changes. It's been staggering and every step we have had to put petitions, reminders and request to get even basic stuff moving. We have been relentless in trying to revive the KAWB. It is inhuman to put citizens through what we have done, forget the animals!
While the KAWB has been up from November 2019 and only after a PIL was launched , we are sad to say very little has been done in terms of moving forward on either a structure, a framework, SOPs or implementation. Thanks to citizen partnership with people like CJ Memorial, CARE , CUPA and CABC, citizen groups like us at ACT (AHVS & Citizen Task Force) have been determinately pushing the boulder up hill. There is lack of information and motivation on one side with the KAWB and frustration and exhaustion from angry animal lovers like us on the other. There has been no attempt to provide training or support to the KAWB from AWBI or the departments.
We also need to understand and appreciate that the KAWB has been set up without adequate notice, training staff, structure or funds. The AHVS JD and his team is doubling up two jobs and it is certainly not easy ! However, what do we do? The job still needs to be done, animal cruelty must be effectively handled ad prevented. So what next? Even the police has not been involved in a formal manner although an ADGP level police officer is needed at the KAWB and the district Police Commissioner as Vice Chairman at District SPCA Level .
What we need now is simple : to revive the old system of Honorary Animal Welfare Officers or HAWOs who can both report and partner which KAWB, District SPCAs and even the police for on ground cruelty escalation. This is critical as both structures of the Karnataka Animal Welfare board and the District SPCA are very very skeletal to say the least . At the same time growing concern, anxiety and anger among animal lovers and animal activists result in increasing pressure on a fledgling structure like KAWB that may not have the ability to deliver.
Ergo: Solution that is needed QUICKLY. District level SPCA Inspectors needed. A simple and sensible suggestion is to be able to harness the very base of well informed, high-integrity and disciplined animal lovers as HAWOs (Honorary animal welfare officers) at both state and district levels in order to assist and help on ground implementation which includes reporting, connecting, coordinating etc on priority. For some reason, the setting up of HAWOs not only in Karnataka but also all India, seems to be very slow. We do not know why AWBI is delaying this, or the HAWO training that is needed. We do not even have a State HAWO, District HAWO , or as importantly, the critical resource of a State Honorary Legal Officer!
We request immediately that Animal Welfare Board of India opens up the whole process and signs up at least 20 in each district , and also ensures an all India training of HAWOs in addition to on ground training at districts to make this system more viable and stronger in execution. Without this, the carefully set up system of animal cruelty with the Karnataka animal welfare board and the District SPCAs will be on shaky ground without adequate informed and deeply passionate animal lovers who can support as HAWOs. We had already emailed a strong letter on this issue and AWBI confirmed that HAWO training was underway last year, but it is still pending. It is needed urgently to help the SAWB effectiveness and optimise animal lover’s knowledge, passion and citizen involvement.
Let’s get started, AWBI.
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