Animal Matters, No 15: 12th October, 2012

People watch these beautiful creatures walk on their tails, leap high out of the water through hoops and elegantly ‘fly’ over the heads of their trainers. And so, dolphinariums are now on the verge of springing up all over the India.

Of course, the facts are never revealed to the fascinated spectators – facts such as half of all dolphins succumb within 90 days of capture, and the unlucky ones who manage to stay alive – will never live the 25 years they would have in their natural habitat. Their lifespan in captivity shrinks to an unbelievably dismal – five years. Any longer, and they run the high risk of turning blind due to constant exposure to the chemicals in the water. They would never again have the freedom to swim the 100 miles they love doing as free creatures.

These are just a few reasons why FIAPO is working hard on preventing the setting up of Dolphinariums in India.  We believe that dolphins, like any animal, should never be confined, caged or kept captive for frivolous human pleasure. Dolphins rightfully belong in the vast blue oceans. Along with member organisations and its international collaborator, the Dolphin Project/Earth Island Institute, FIAPO looks to prevent this abusive practice from entering India. This is still a “winnable” battle and we will win it – on behalf of the dolphins!    

Suparna Ganguly, FIAPO Governor and President, Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA)
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India for Animals: Did you wish you could do more for animals? The IFA conference in Goa is a fantastic opportunity to learn from stalwarts of animal protection in India. Learn exceptional campaigning skills from N.G. Jayasimha of Humane Society International, one of India’s most effective animal campaigners. Gauri Maulekhi of PFA Uttarakhand will share her remarkable success with stopping animal sacrifice in Uttarakhand. Learn legal intricacies and how to use the law to protect animals from Brindha Nandakumar of Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA). And there’s lots more. With over 20 such sessions to choose from, it will be tough deciding!

If you have not registered for IFA, there are still a few places left. Please hurry http://fiapo.org/ifa12.php
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Inviting your opinion to shape FIAPO's future…
Shilpa Writes: The fight for animal rights is here to stay. And that is where we, like pieces of jigsaw puzzle, all come together in our various capacities and interests, in the hope that bit by bit we will move towards making this dire need for animal protection a reality. As a collective of organisations and individuals, we are keen to develop a common vision and priorities to focus on for animals in India. This focus will lend direction and guidance to several activities and campaigns that we undertake in the near future. Please fill in this small survey, which should take only about 5 minutes http://kwiksurveys.com/s.asp?sid=0ucqzkilpqbeqda30492
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Holy Cow: With the help of our partner, the Blue Cross of Hyderabad (http://www.bluecrosshyd.in), we were able to spread awareness about the spread of factory farming in India’s dairy sector at an event organised by the Guntur Gau Samrakshana Sangham on 27 September 2012. Our thanks to Sriram Vepuri, who spoke to a large gathering of people about the proposed IFFCO mega-dairy in Nellore. We got lots of support for keeping such exploitation of animals out of India. Thank you, Sriram, for your fantastic work!! Are you based in Andhra Pradesh and would you like to volunteer for the campaign against factory-farm dairies? Please write to us mail@fiapo.org
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From production to protection…
Have you heard about dairies masquerading as shelters for cattle, where the focus is on milk production rather than the animals themselves? If you have and if you would like a breath of fresh air, do visit the Gaushalas (Nandidham and Kamdhenudham) run by the Vishnu charitable trust in Gurgaon. A sterling position taken by this institution is to completely do away with the sale of milk. Whatever milk is produced is used for the calves and the surplus shared among the workers. This, from a situation where the Gaushala was marketing milk worth nearly Rs. 400,000 each month. What brought about this transformation? What is the lesson for India’s animal protection community, particularly the cow protection movement? Have we lost focus from animal protection to milk production? Over the next few issues we will bring this story to you and encourage you to contribute to this developing debate. Please write to mail@fiapo.org if you have an experience to share and we may carry it here.
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Living Free: Today we start our outreach programme in Chennai, with Blue Cross of India (BCI http://www.bluecrossofindia.org/). Volunteers will hand out leaflets on reducing animal consumption and reach out to the masses with this important message. Sathya Radhakrishnan from BCI tells us: “Outreach has always been important to us at BCI. Organising such an event with FIAPO has helped us improve our outreach activities, and the materials and support provided were a great help. Chennai has always been an animal friendly city and this is another significant step to making Chennai a more pro-active city for the animals, and we are looking forward to organising more such events.”
Auroville up next, and then Bangalore, Mysore, Ooti and Kolam. If you are in one of these cities, have you signed up yet? Email varda@fiapo.org for details on when we are in your city.
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We Care Srinagar: Our campaign against culling of dogs in Srinagar continues with this recent article by Sharon St Joan published in Kashmir Images. Sharon has been working for animal protection for over three decades. She tells us of Chennai – the success the city has had with ABC, is true testimony to the fact that neutering and vaccination a dog is the best, most effective and humane answer to our stray dog proliferation. Read and be inspired by a true success story that was a wake up call to all Indian cities and is now a living example of how compassion is and always will be only way forward. See http://www.fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12103
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Fruits of Collaboration…
Manish writes: We have been pursuing Mission Jaisalmer since our inception and after months of work, the cows are finally getting some relief! Mineral mapping of the area has now been completed (in partnership with a local institute), key locations have been identified, and a mineral mixture to suit needs is being made. Groups are now being formed to facilitate the distribution of this mixture to all the affected areas. Cows needing immediate treatment will be given injections.
We are all very pleased with this first breakthrough. We know a considerable task lies ahead ensuring the cows are injected and the mineral mixture is distributed, but nevertheless, the tenaciousness of our local federation and this success, is worth celebrating! More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12120
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Against Animal Sacrifice: Tradition at the temple of Shreedev Bhargavram Parshuram in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra calls to sacrifice goats at Dussera. Under the enthusiastic leadership of our member organisation PAWS, we have written to the temple trustee and the district collector to stop this ritual and any other such offering to the deities. Not only is animal sacrifice illegal, it is also against the teaching of all religions to be compassionate and kind.
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On Dolphinariums: We have been busy gathering data on every prospective captive dolphin facility in India. More news on the Oceanarium at Worli, Mumbai – no project report, no correspondence with with any other Government agency. So it seems that at least at Worli, the developments are slow. Meanwhile, Kochi has been preparing for a similar facility. We continue to track these, and we will keep you informed. If you hear of such a proposal in your area, please inform us about it. Vigilance is the first step in stopping these atrocities.
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Knowledge Exchange: One of the most common issues we hear is of dogs that are caged, or tied, or beaten, or starved. One of our members – Animals Birds Nature Foundation was seeking help for an adult dog, left permanently in a small cage – too small even to stand in.  Since the law is so weak, we have been trying to help sensitize the owners/guardians – if we stay calm, and try to engage, we might just be surprised with the results.
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In focus: Thane SPCA
Thane SPCA had a modest start – a few animal lovers without any grants or support, serving animals on the street – and then a shelter. Now, Thane SPCA boasts of some of the best facilities for animal care. In the last 8 years of the establishment of the hospital, about 17,000 animals were rendered holistic service. The hospital offers lodging facilities for all the animals till they are ready to be discharged. Stray animals are treated free of cost, animals with caretakers are charged a minimal fee while pet animals are charged a full fee. More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12122

We will be back with more news for you in another fortnight. In the meanwhile, please continue to help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.

Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations
118, Mahabhadrakali Apt, Plot no: 6, Sector 13, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110075.
www.fiapo.org

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