AWBI cancels HAWO ID cards owing to misuse

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 13 March 2018

“Unfortunately, certain members who were issued identity cards by AWBI, pretended to be government officials and started threatening people. The issue with the identity cards is it states that the person is an animal welfare officer." Amit Shah of Jeev Sewa Foundation said.

PUNE: The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has decided to cancel all the Honorary Animal Welfare Officer (HAWO) identity cards issued till date. A notice issued by AWBI Secretary M Ravikumar on AWBI’s website stated that all HAWOs are directed to surrender their ID cards. 

The HAWOs have also been directed to submit their details of work done if they are applying for a fresh card. Speaking about the move, Amit Shah of Jeev Sewa Foundation said that the move is a welcome one.

“Unfortunately, certain members who were issued identity cards by AWBI, pretended to be government officials and started threatening people. The issue with the identity cards is it states that the person is an animal welfare officer. The term officer should be replaced, as it is misguiding people,” added Shah. He recommended that AWBI should scrutinise all fresh applications and check past records of applicants. 

Speaking on duties of HAWO, Amit Shah said that HAWOs should bring incidents of cruelty to wild animals to the notice of AWBI. “HAWOs are not authorised to collect fines or raid premises to confiscate any animal. However, in Pune, it was noticed that people are raiding premises of under the pretext of saving animals and, hence, AWBI should check all these factors,” added Shah.

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