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US flags Animal Welfare Board about ‘illegal greyhound races’ in Punjab, seeks action

Seerat Sandhu

February 23rd, 2021

The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and a US-based anti-greyhound group have separately written to the government of Punjab alleging “illegal conduct of dog breeds” in the state and seeking immediate action against the perpetrators. Citing a complaint it received, the AWBI requested to ensure that “such illegal events are not permitted to take place anywhere or at any time in the future” when referring to “illegal conduct of greyhound dog races held in Faridkot on 13 February”.

The GREY2K USA Worldwide, a US-based organization, has also written to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in this regard. “I urge you to enforce the humane laws against dog racing in Punjab. It is my understanding that illegal races have again occurred, this time in the Faridkot District on February 13,” GREY2K USA Worldwide Education Fund president and general counsel Christine A Dorchak said in correspondence addressed to the CM GREY2K USA, as per its website, is the largest greyhound protection organization in the world. “As a non-profit entity, we work to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and end the cruelty of dog racing on both national and international levels. We also promote the rescue and adoption of greyhounds across the globe,” the website says.

In the meantime, through its letter, which was also addressed to the Punjab Chief Secretary, the Director of State Animal Husbandry, the Director General of Police and the Deputy Commissioner Faridkot, the AWBI directed that “the action taken report may be submitted immediately to the Board.”
Referring to the judgment of the Supreme Court, AWBI noted, “In fact, the ban is very broad, and it is absolute.” Races and other practices involving bulls, bullocks, poultry, etc. are not allowed. The permission given and the conduct of this race is in direct breach of the judgment of the Supreme Court, and would in effect be equal to contempt of court.

Earlier, in an email message to AWBI officials, the complainant had alleged that “despite the letter written by Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India, on 7th December 2020 to the state govt of Punjab and Animal Husbandry Department of Punjab, the greyhound races are still continuing. Greyhound races were held in Faridkot of Punjab, on 13th February 2021 which is clear violation of AWBI instructions and Supreme Court directions. It seems that laws are not enforced effectively.”

The complainant further noted that “it is very shocking to see the Punjab Department of Animal Husbandry and District Administration giving permission to hold such events.”

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