Bhubaneswar: Researcher Anil Dhir was nominated by the Animal Welfare Board of India as the Honorary State Welfare Officer for Odisha.
He is among the three State Welfare Officers appointed by the newly reconstituted board, a body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.
Besides, the Animal Welfare Board has appointed 30 District Welfare Officers.
Soon after appointment, Anil Dhir has said that the State body will soon get active and start interaction with various government agencies and the police for the proper implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
He said that Odisha has a dismal record in ethical treatment for animals and the PCA Act is brazenly flouted at every level. The State has the highest extent of illegal cattle transportation, illegal slaughterhouses, poaching, man-animal conflicts and trafficking in wildlife.
The AWBI Officers will undertake statewide awareness programmes, conduct inspections, and monitor the workings of the District Level Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, he said.
The researcher said that most of the SPCA’s exist only in pen and paper and meetings are seldom held. The near decimation of wildlife, including Schedule I animals like tigers and elephants, and the negligence of the authorities in checking illegal animal trafficking is a shame for the State.
The entire team of the officers will soon meet Odisha Governor, Chief Minister and Forest Minister and will demand the strict implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.
According to reports, the nomination was made last month. Dhir and his team were given extensive one week training and handed over their respective nomination letters at the National Institute of Animal Welfare at Ballabgarh in Haryana on Oct 26.