Animal Matters, No 4: 11th May, 2012

As animal welfare begins to mature as a mainstream social change sector in India, the need for us to engage with the macro policy environment is becoming increasingly clear. This is where long term change takes place, even as we continue to provide succor on a day to day basis to animals that are abused and in need of assistance.

Keeping this agenda in view, FIAPO has sought and received membership of a sectional committee of the Food and Agriculture Department of the Bureau of Indian Standards. This sectional committee (referred to as FAD 5) is mandated with developing standards for animal husbandry (management practices, welfare and transport), feeds and equipment for livestock, poultry and laboratory animals. Over the course of the year, we will be proposing standards on various aspects that affect animals such as housing conditions, space available to each animal, flooring and ventilation and so on. In this manner we hope to progressively improve the conditions in which animals are currently raised. Watch this space for updates in the future as we pursue this policy impacting process. 
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Vegan Bites…

Himani writes:  The vegan cooking demo at the Graze restaurant — Taj hotels in Bangalore was a runaway success! The Sous Chef Uday Nathan doled out some amazing delicacies including a salad with hearts of palm, wine steeped mushrooms & pickled baby onions and a sinful desert in caramelized pears and figs, almond tart shell and vanilla ice cream. The attendees were loving every minute of it while the very attentive manager Ashwin made sure every one was taken care of well.

The event which has been covered by the Indian Express, The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle and a number of popular food blogs and received rave reviews by each of them. As vegan food is more spoken about and discussed in the media, the concept behind it is also getting better understood. Many vegetarians and non vegetarians present gave the same response, if the option is available and it tastes so good, they would opt for it. ‘

Read full report and see photos here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11859
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Collaboration: When a snake was intentionally and illegally killed by police personnel in Ajmer prison, members of the Jaipur Federation of Animal Protection Organisatons (JFAPO) immediately came together to respond. As a result, the story was covered by News 24, and now JFAPO is asking the Forest Department to take strict action. See more here along with the video of the entire incident http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11861
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Resources: A useful resource shared by PAWS. Snakebites – Causes and Avoidance. India – estimates in the region of 200,000 bites and 15-20,000 snake bite deaths per year, originally made in the last century, are still quoted. No reliable national statistics are available. Here's some info on common causes and avoidance of snake bites. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11843
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Ending Experimentation…

Alokparna writes: Last week was very exciting for the animal experimentation campaign at FIAPO. India became the first country to ban the use of live animals in dissection, education and training. This is a huge step made towards the cause of animal protection in experimentation.  See http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11835

Like the rest of the country we were overjoyed and we wanted to celebrate. So we visited the Ministry of Environment and Forests, with FIAPO’s mascot mouse, Squeaky, to convey two very important messages – we want thank the ministry for banning animal dissection, but lets now ban cosmetics testing on animals too.

Squeaky went on to meet the Minister, Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, and presented her with a hamper of cruelty free products. We congratulated her for India’s progressive ban on animals in education and dissection. For a full report and photos, see http://fiapo.org/view_art.php?viewid=11862

The week before that, on the 28th April, we also celebrated the World Week of Animals in Laboratories, with lots of our friends and colleagues in Delhi. We gave out lots of leaflets educating people about vivisection, and also collected many petition signatures asking for a ban on cosmetics testing. Thanks to everyone who made the day such a huge success, and watch out for more such events!
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Horse Carriages in Kolaba, Raigad: In the month of February 2012, FIAPO received visual complaints of overloaded horse carriages being used to ferry tourists from Kolaba beach till the fort in waist deep sea water – you would remember the submission of our complaint then. Since not much cognizance was taken by the administrative authority on our previous complaint, a new formal complaint has been made to the District Collector of Raigad to  treat this issue under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and ban the use of carriages to ply to and from the Kolaba Fort and the entire beach, and additionally ban the use of carriages on all beaches in Alibagh as the same constitute a grave public nuisance.  We will keep you posted of developments.
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Holy Cow…

Khushboo Writes: Cows and bulls who wander the roads of India forage for food and eat garbage along with the plastic bags in which the garbage is disposed. The Plastic Cow Campaign was especially created to address this issue and the team consists of Clementien Pauws of Karuna Society for Animals & Nature, Phil Wollen of Kindness Trust, Pradeep Nath of VSPCA,  and Rukmini Sekhar. A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court of India and the case was admitted and notice given on May 7, 2012. Though the Campaign focuses on the suffering of animals who have ingested plastic, it also sees the link between these animals and the milk and meat industry. As a result of their actions, the Supreme Court of India is urging India’s central and state governments to ban plastic bags in the interest of rights of the people and animals. We are all delighted, and congratulations to all involved.

A 34-minute documentary has also been created to raise awareness of this important issue  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SifRIYqHfcY&feature=youtu.be
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Proposals invited from NGOs for Environment Awareness Campaign: The Ministry of Environment and Forests invites proposals for its National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) for the year 2012-13. The theme is Biodiversity Conservation. Several sub-themes under the theme Bio-diversity Conservation have been identified for conducting the campaign. Sub-themes details are available on Ministry's website. More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11860
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CERC: Responding to the news report about mass killing of baby goats at a temple festival at Poosariyur near Anthiyur in Tamil Nadu, we wrote to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha to immediately reinforce legislation that prohibits animal sacrifice.  According to the report, 5000 baby goats were killed at a temple and their blood was drunk by priests and devotees alike to usher in prosperity. The Chief Minister is yet to reply to us.  We’ll keep you posted. More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11863

We heard it was proposed to train monkeys to carry out the task of plucking coconuts, in Kerala. What a nutty proposal, we thought! We sent off a letter to the Director of the Animal Husbandry department, highlighting that training monkeys to pluck coconut is in violation of the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act, 1960  and capture of monkeys for this purpose violates Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11857

We heard that 29 Black Bucks were mauled inside their enclosure in the Deer Park at Bir Talab on 26th April 2012. It’s a tragedy that protected black bucks, which are also the State Animal of Punjab and unfortunately mostly pregnant at the time of attack, have become such easy prey, and only due to a lack of a safe enclosure. We came to know from news sources that "More than 90%, the attack is because we are short of hands. Every day, drug addicts and common visitors fiddle with the cages." We immediately wrote to the Central Zoo Authority highlighting that this was a tragedy that could have been easily avoided, and if animals are being kept in captivity, then it is the responsibility of the captors to ensure their safety. We have also asked for de-recognition of the deer park Bir Talab as a mini-zoo. More here http://fiapo.org/view_news.php?viewid=11868
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In focus: Karuna Society for Animals & Nature
Karuna Society for Animals & Nature was set up in 2000 in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, working for animal welfare and the environment by providing free medical care and shelter for sick, injured, abandoned and abused animals, while sustaining all food production with organic farming and alternative fuels. "Karuna", in sanskrit, means compassion, which is the motivating force behind all our activities. Besides the recent impressive Plastic Cow campaign, Karuna runs several projects which include, hospital and shelter for small and large animals, ABC/ARV, cattle rescue, wildlife rescue, organic farming and humane education. For more info, see http://www.karunasociety.org


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.

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

Arpan Sharma

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