Animal Matters, No 2: 13th April, 2012

Exciting news to share – our new website was launched today! See It was launched by the most valued FIAPO family member – Chinky, whose incessant tail wagging makes the office more spirited! See her here launching it, we think she likes the new website

With the new website, we have updated some of the features and introduced lots of new ones. Over the next few months, we hope to build this website up as a comprehensive news and informational resource for activists and organisations across India. Our next issue of the newsletter, will also be sent out using our new IT systems, so please fill in this online form to subscribe Feedback on the new site is very welcome, please email

Tomorrow, we’ll be facilitating ‘Animals and Us’ – an introduction to animal protection issues and training in advocacy techniques, at USO House, Delhi. General Kharb – who has been nominated for the prestigious IVAMI lifetime achievement award – is inaugurating the event. It kicks off at 12 noon and finishes at 3.30 pm, though we are using it as an informal discussion and networking session before and after the event. See you there.

Vegan Bites…

Himani writes: Our vegan leaflet is now ready. This is the first of many materials we will be producing for our leafleting program, and we will keep sharing these with you as we hit the streets of Mumbai with them. Download it here  Feedback welcome!
To bring in a larger awareness on these issues, we are launching our new webpage – this is a work in progress, and we need your support. The goal is to facilitate an easy conversion to a vegan lifestyle, and towards that end one of the web pages main focus will be to give vegan replacements, options and recipes. Join in this process of developing the website by contributing your favorite vegan recipe and we will credit it to you. Email

While working on our leaflets and web resources, we came across compelling research that brings out the extent of suffering in factory farms. Hens in egg laying farms, chickens in poultry sheds and cows in dairy farms are probably the worst victims. ‘ Each hen who is crammed in  battery cages get less space than that of an A4 size sheet of paper, piled one over the other’ is a line that we would probably be familiar with. But when you think of it, it means spending more than two and a half years in intense confinement, filth and physical pain. Dairy farms of today are maximizing profits by introducing more intensive confinement systems. Khushboo, in the last issue, talked about the horrors of the dairy farms she visited in Ghazipur. See Nothing encapsulates it better than Jeremy Bentham's words ‘The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?’ And the answer is that they do suffer.  A lot.

Animal Rescue Kerala (ARK) is looking for a group to take over the running and financing of its center based near Kovalam, Kerala. ARK was set up over 10 years ago by Avis Lyons, and is the only shelter servicing animals in its area. ARK needs support from within our community more than ever. Please contact them if you can help or know someone who can.

Ending Experimentation…

Alokparna writes: FIAPO talks about alternatives…again!
We can’t stop talking about how great the future of non animal testing methods is! This is why FIAPO is back with its second series of seminars. The first one was conducted in December with Dr Thomas Hartung and now we are back to visiting a few of the top toxicological institutions in the country. This time, we have Dr Andrew Rowan, President and CEO of Humane Society International and an alumnus of Oxford University. This week we visited Chennai and Mumbai. We are spreading awareness about the future of toxicity testing which includes robotics, bioinformatics and many such technologies which could replace 6 year long animal intensive studies into 6 week long animal free tests.

Cosmetic Testing: Testing on animals for cosmetics has been a debated issue for ages. Cosmetics are tested on animals and it is cruel but no one has bothered with the details yet! We are bringing out our findings from our toxicity report to spread the awareness. Find out more here

Holy Cow…

Khushboo Writes: Last week, we finished off the report on the dairy industry in India – and it now sits with experts for some more technical boosting! An account of the husbandry practices followed by people at different types of dairy farms in India, it helps break away from the quintessential image of a grazing cow in the farmer’s backyard. Milk is infact produced in 5 kinds of places – the 5 typologies – large commercial dairies, urban and peri urban dairies, small holder backyards, government breeding farms, research centres and agricultural universities and gaushalas.

Yes! Just in case you thought gaushalas were some safe haven for abused cows – preferential treatment is given to the milking and fertile cattle as these animals provide economic gain to gaushalas. Milking, in fact, is not the only economic activity pursued at gaushalas. Many gaushalas are into the business of supplying byproducts such as cow excreta and urine which are considered to be of high medicinal value in ayurveda. These gaushalas have ayurveda medicine manufacturing companies as well as local doctors as their clients.  In order to meet the demand of these byproducts, cows are kept tethered to one place for long hours so that their urine and excreta can be collected in a tray placed behind them.

Resources: You can find reports on the dairy and poultry industry in our resources page – some by FIAPO. Out of the more recent ones, ‘Veg or Non-Veg? India at the Crossroads’ is worth a read. You can find videos on the page too. More here

Response Centre: Through a concerned member, we learnt that the President of the Calcutta Club is planning to remove animals – puppies, civet cats, mongoos’ – from the premises, despite over 70 members protesting against this proposed action. The fact is, that these actions are illegal under the ABC Rules; and if the animals are harmed, under the Indian Penal Code and the PCA Act too. We have written to him highlighting these facts, and we wait to hear more from activists on the ground.

In another case, in Thane, a young girl tragically died due to a snake bite, whilst training to handle reptiles. The snake catcher in this instance had been housing wild snakes in his residence and was conducting classes for handling snakes at his home without the requisite qualifications and permissions. FIAPO wrote to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in Maharashtra to make sure that these animals that belong in the wild should not be manhandled as a mere publicity stunt and should be rehabilitated and not used as a commodity. More here

In focus: The Waterbowl Project
An idea with the simplest beginning – a few volunteers armed with 5 bowls – is now a project that is being replicated across the country to provide animals a much needed respite from the hot months of summer. Organisations everywhere – Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur – are looking for volunteers to take this forward, as the summer months kick in. Once installed, all that volunteers need to do is to fill the bowls up, and watch the animals enjoy themselves. Spread the word, and get in touch.

Thank you for the tremendous work that you do for animals.


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