Animal Matters No 19: 7th December, 2012

Dear Members and Friends,

I want to extend my condolences to the Ahmedabad animal protection group, Geetaben Rambhia Smruti Ahimsa Trust, which, according to a recent story published in TNN,  has been ordered to pay more than Rs 3 lakhs to an animal trader who claims they took his living stock before Bakr Eid in 2010. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12210 In related news, the Supreme Court ordered an animal protection group in Gujarat to pay Rs 25 lakh to butchers after liberating animals on the way to the slaughterhouse earlier in the year. Laughably low fines for farmed animal abuse contrast sharply to these penalties.

But what’s worse is the idea that “civilization” has become so de-sensitized that we lawfully permit animals to suffer immeasurably in their confinement, transport and in their final days before their deaths.

The animals raised for slaughter are born into terror, and often torture. But I find hope in all impulses to try to prevent suffering. Congratulations to the thousands of individuals and organisations working tirelessly for animal protection. The penalties may be high, but if we ask the rescued animals if the price was worth it, I reckon they’d agree.
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The formal opening of Humane Society International’s India office was announced last week in a programme which included the world-revered 13th Dalai Lama of Tibet. On behalf of FIAPO’s trustees, governors, staff members, member organizations and googlegroups subscribers, we welcome Humane Society International to India, with gratitude for all it has done in the past, and with tremendous optimism about what this means for the future of animals in India and the world. http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=12268
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Fruits of Collaboration: We are organising a meeting in Kochi, on the 4th January, 2013 of animal protection organisations and individuals – anyone who wants to help the increasingly troubled state of affairs for animals in Kerala. The local federation in Jaipur has been extremely successful  – see www.fiapo.org/jfapo.php – and we hope we can do more to strengthen the ongoing work in Kerala. To attend, email varda@fiapo.org
We have also been invited to help organise a similar meeting in Pune, on the 20th January. More details on this soon.
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Living Free: Last week, Dan was in Mumbai handing out leaflets about Living Free. Response was excellent, and a few people who got the leaflets have already been in touch wanting to get more active! Spreading the message and encouraging others to get active is time well-spent. Dan’s comment here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12129 Next up is Udaipur, and other cities in Rajasthan. 
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Baywatch…
Puja writes: Last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy collating information on different proposed dolphinaria in India. There are several (5 currently) large scale projects, proposed in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala and Delhi. You can read about all the news on these projects http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=12275. It is now scientifically proven that these intelligent and sensitive marine mammals – like most other animals – do not fare well in captivity. Meanwhile, more news from zoos – an MoU with a German zoo and animal trafficking http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12227 http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=12233. Suparna Ganguly, who has been spearheading the work for animals in captivity in India, sends her comment – see http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12276
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NDTV reported earlier this month that the Environment Minister has released an action plan to step up conservation efforts for Indian bears. Groups like International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and Wildlife Trust of India teamed up with the Ministry of Environment and Forests to document the diminishing population of bears and the many threats to their lives. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12211 But in good news for bears, the Dancing Bears—generally sloth bears—are now a thing of the past in India, thanks to activist groups like Wildlife SOS and International Animal Rescue, who have shut down the tribal Kalandar tradition of poaching bear cubs and “training” them using heated rods through their noses.  Excellent news. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12230
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The fight against poaching is fortified in Assam by the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, according to the Business Standard, who reported that the CWRC in Kaziranga National Park rescued 3000 animals during the last 10 years. Poaching endangered species and wildlife around the world is a multi-million dollar trade which has cost many activists their lives. If you suspect poachers in the government lands near your homes, report it immediately to your forest department, and if action is not taken, please notify FIAPO. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12231
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We've been keeping tabs on the story of the pharma company trying to import beagles for testing as pets. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12234 and http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12228 Stories like these make me wonder – are we adequately addressing “invisible” animal abuse? For ending experimentation, the provision of a Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA) nominee on Institutional Animal Ethics Committees (IAEC) provides more hope. Every animal testing institution must have an IAEC and a CPCSEA nominee in it. Would you be one? Write to us at mail@fiapo.org
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We Care Srinagar: Have you ever wondered how effective campaigning and awareness activities really are? This weeks We Care Srinagar article writer, Laxman Singh Rathore, talks about the presentations he made in schools over the years, talking to children about playing with dogs, and how to tell the difference between a dog that may be frightened or one that wants to play. Read on to hear of his experiences with children and favourite examples, in this article ‘Street Dogs in Udaipur Have Helped Me Be a Good Parent’ as published in Kashmir Images. http://www.fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11977
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The Dogs Trust is organising a National Dog Welfare Conference in Chennai on 27 and 28 February 2013. For more info, see http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12218
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Story in Times of India suggesting fish are good for health http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12226 Dr Nandita Shah comments – Like any other animal flesh, fish are high in protein, and fat and lack fibre and contribute to many diseases. Fish farming means that the fish are raised in crowded conditions, much like factory farming in land animals. They live in their own excreta and can be extremely diseased. It’s important to look at who is pitching the story – this time, the secretary of Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch. That's someone who wants us to believe that fish are good for us. Fish, nor any animal flesh or secretions are needed by human beings for health, and fish suffer in much the same way as other animals do when we raise them for our consumption.
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In focus: SHARAN
SHARAN, founded by Dr. Nandita Shah, has been organising talks, seminars, cooking classes, and other events across India since 2005 and has been singularly responsible for reaching out to thousands of people with the message of veganism. It is an animal rights organisation with a focus on animals used for food because these animals are the largest exploited group of animals. SHARAN's goal is to guide people on how they can prevent and reverse diseases through a whole plant based diet in order to reduce animal flesh consumption. For more info, see http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12237
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A very uplifting recent study – 87 percent of Indians feel animals have “as many rights” as people. While all such conclusions are to be understood in the context of a study’s scope, the news is nothing short of fantastic. If this is even half-accurate, it suggests that even the millions of people who would not identify themselves as animal protectors have the capacity to become protectors. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=12272

Help animals in your own way; remember – no action is too small.

Best wishes,

Erika

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