The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) on Friday said it has withdrawn the appeal to celebrate February 14 as 'Cow Hug Day' following directions from the government amid widespread criticism on social media.
The withdrawal of the appeal comes just a day after Union minister 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'.
February 14 is observed as Valentine's Day across the world.
"As directed by the Competent Authority and Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandary and Dairying the appeal issued by the Animal Welfare Board of India for celebration of Cow Hug Day on 14th February, 2023 stands withdrawn," the board's secretary S K Dutta said in a notice posted on its website.
It was for the first time that the AWBI had appealed to cow lovers in the country to celebrate 'Cow Hug Day'.
Earlier, the board had said the appeal has been made because the vedic traditions are almost on the "verge of extinction" due to the progress of western culture.
On Thursday, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala had said it will be good if people respond positively to the call given by the AWBI to celebrate February 14 as 'Cow Hug Day'.
Rupala had said that not much should be read into the choice of February 14 as a date for this purpose.
"This country has an age-old tradition of worshipping the cow and it is a matter of great happiness that people embrace the cow… It is good if people respond positively to our appeal," the minister had told reporters.
Since February 14 is a day of love, it is good if people remember and love the cow on that day. "And if someone taunts on this, then one should not feel angry but feel pity...," he had said.
The board, established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, provides grants to animal welfare organisations and advises the Centre on animal welfare issues. It is a statutory advisory body on animal welfare laws and promotes animal welfare in the country.
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