Ahmedabad: A day after the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), the statutory advisory body on animal welfare laws, withdrew its appeal to celebrate February 14 as the “Cow Hug Day” on a directive from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the board’s Gujarat counterpart has defied the directive and plans to go ahead with its celebrations.
The Animal Welfare Board of Gujarat (AWBG) is all set to celebrate Valentine's Day as “Cow Hug Day” at gaushalas (cattle ponds), temples and at all places where a large number of cows are found. The AWBG has decided to go ahead with its plans to hug and worship cows across Gujarat. Official sources, pleading anonymity, claimed that they had not received any official communication from the AWBI.
The AWBI on Friday issued a single-page order to all the States, stating that, “As directed by the Competent Authority and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, appeal issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India for celebration of Cow Hug Day on 14th February, 2023, stands withdrawn.”
According to official sources, the AWBI withdrew its circular on the directives from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The Board’s appeal on February 6, 2023, had stated, referring to Sanatan Dharma, “We all know that the Cow is the backbone of Indian culture and rural economy, sustains our life, represents cattle wealth and biodiversity. Vedic traditions are almost on the verge of extinction due to the progress of western culture over time. The dazzle of western civilization has made our physical culture and heritage almost forgotten.”
“In view of the immense benefits of the cow, hugging with cow will bring emotional richness hence will increase our individual & collective happiness. Therefore, all the cow lovers may also celebrate the February 14 as Cow Hug Day keeping in mind the importance of mother cow and make life happy and full of positive energy (sic).”
Besides this, the appeal also stated that the it was issued with the approval of “competent authority” and on the directions of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
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