The Animal Welfare Board of India on Friday, February 10, said it has withdrawn the appeal to celebrate February 14 as ‘Cow Hug Day’. The decision was a result of directives from the government and amid criticism on social media.
In a fresh notice, the advisory body said, “As directed by the Competent Authority and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying the appeal issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India for the celebration of Cow Hug Day on 14th February, 2023 stands withdrawn.”
On February 9, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala said it will be good if people respond positively to the call given by the Board to celebrate February 14 as ‘Cow Hug Day’. He also added that not much should be read into the choice of February 14 as a date for this purpose.
Criticizing the “dazzle of western civilisation”, the board said that vedic traditions are “almost on the verge of extinction due to the progress of western culture over time.” It further called cows the “backbone of Indian culture and represents the economy”, adding that the animal represents “cattle wealth and biodiversity.”
This is the first time that the AWBI has appealed to cow lovers in the country to celebrate “Cow Hug Day.” It is known as “Kamdhenu” and “Gaumata” because of its nourishing nature like mother, the giver of all providing riches to humanity,” the board had said.
The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It provides grants to animal welfare organizations and advises the Central government on animal welfare issues.
The decision to withdraw the appeal to celebrate “Cow Hug Day” on February 14 has been met with mixed reactions. While some have criticized the idea of celebrating a day dedicated to cows, others have praised the government’s decision to withdraw the appeal and focus on other issues.