Fortnightly Commentary No 71: 5th December 2014 circ. 2000 people

Dear Members and Friends

I went to Bombay a couple of weeks ago to visit an old friend. We had drinks in the bar of a fancy hotel. The seating was a bit tight and I got stuck next to a young German guy who was in India to teach tunnel borers how to use software (er somethin’.) But like his tunnel borers he could not be stopped. He had been in India for about a week and gave the usual long tirade that starts with “why don’t they just do this?” So many tourists could simply FIX India in one day, by golly, they could fix its garbage, its water access, its marriage customs, its chauvinisms, its disproportionate poverty. He had all the answers. And when I asked him where he likes to travel, he said happily, “America.” And when I asked him why, he said, “They have the best steaks.” I replied “I love to travel to America too, but it’s because they have the best vegan restaurants.” We didn’t make plans to meet again.

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Fruits of Collaboration
Close on the heels of meat shop surveys in Jaipur, the local federation has produced its final report on status and regulation of meat shops in the city. The report is to be used to bring about stringent implementation of existing laws on slaughter and sale of meat. Download a copy of the report here. A decision on the relevant government bodies to be approached will be taken when members meet this weekend. K-FAPO is directing its efforts to involving local municipalities into its adoption programme and members of the Pune federation will be meeting in two weeks’ time to formally launch their internship programme for vets.
Meanwhile, the Varanasi programme is also going strong. To help address the skin problems in dogs, a participatory training workshop was organized with the activists at the Ghats of Varanasi whereby they applied the Sulphur-Camphor-Coconut oil topically to the street dogs. It simultaneously helped the activists overcome their fears of handling street dogs and gave them a touch of reality. The daily first aid treatment has now become an integral part of the movement in Varanasi.

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Living Free
The pledge signing campaign organised for world meatless day was a grandeur event. Our target of reaching out to 5000 people was achieved 3 times over – 15,000 people! A big round of applause goes out to our excellent leaders and volunteers, who made this happen. To further our cause, ethical businesses like Omved Stores and Nature’s Co enthusiastically collaborated with us, hosting events in Mumbai and Bangalore!
As always, to accelerate our mission, we bring forward another striking event wherein big exhibition boards will be circulated from one living free city to another. These posters, with a picture and a strong message, will impact people right away to think about animals and their welfare. If you’d like for living Free to come to your city, write to us at shweta@fiapo.org. Happy living free to all!

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Farm to Freedom
In a continuing effort to reach out and spread awareness about ‘Where are food comes from”, FIAPO sent out information packs to journalists pan India, targeting them as an influencer’s group. I’m glad to say today that in the follow up to the information sent, the response has been overwhelming! Many journalists claim that they were completely at sea with regards to the conditions of transport and production of animal products, and a few were event in support of ensuring that the facts are brought to light. Some of them have already written articles about it! You can find links to some coverage here and here. Looks like the world is finally warming up to animal issues.

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Observe the national day of mourning with us on 5th December, 5.00 PM , at Jantar Mantar to pay homage to those who were sacrificed at Gadhimai .Click here.

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HC refuses to pass order on plea to allow pet dogs in public

Stating that it’s not equipped to mediate between those who embrace the presence of dogs in parks and those who oppose it, the Delhi High Court refused to pass a direction and wants the AWBI to achieve consensus between the various stakeholders. The Business Standard article did not mention how the HC envisions the AWBI will identify consensus, how it would be maintained or enforced. Read more here.

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Help us help animals! Click here to Donate!
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Special Registration Rates for FIAPO members for the Minding Animals Conference

As you may be aware, the Minding Animals Conference is scheduled for New Delhi between 13 and 20 January 2015. Details can be found on the conference website. The organisers have kindly offered a special registration rate of $92 (Approx Rs. 5,500) for delegates associated with FIAPO member organsitions. Kindly contact arpan@fiapo.org if you are interested in registering at the reduced rates.

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In Focus : Humane Animal Society, Coimbatore

From rescue and rehabilitation, to sterilizations, adoptions and more, HAS goes a long way in making Coimbatore a safe haven for street animals. Read on to learn more!
Better Late than never : Delhi Zoo staff to be trained for emergencies
In the aftermath of the Delhi zoo incident, where a 20 year old boy died after accidentally stepping into a white tiger’s enclosure, the Central Zoo Authority designated the task of training 35 permanent staff to the National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA). This is the first time that NDMA will be training zoo staff. Read more here.

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Better Late than never : Delhi Zoo staff to be trained for emergencies
In the aftermath of the Delhi zoo incident, where a 20 year old boy died after accidentally stepping into a white tiger’s enclosure, the Central Zoo Authority designated the task of training 35 permanent staff to the National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA). This is the first time that NDMA will be training zoo staff. Read more here.
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Pollution from dairies in MP causing health and environmental problems
TOI reports that pollution from dairies in MP has prompted three petitioners to go to court to stop the unregulated dumping of cow excrement into the river Narmada and its tributaries Pariyat and Gaur. A cluster of dairies in the district is to blame. The court case has moved the MP state government to assure the high court that a proposal for setting up ‘dairy hubs’ in the state would be put up before the cabinet for approval in two weeks—presumably, hubs which don’t pollute the water.But such hubs will have no meaning if strict measures aren’t taken to control the elimination of waste from the dairies. Read more here.

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Leopards want peace with and from people, find researchers
Outside their protected areas, leopards often reside in human habitats, but avoid encounters with people, a new study shows, declaring they are not “stray” or “conflict” animals but integrated residents who try to stay away from people.A fascinating and sympathetic portrayal of our feline friends, this document should be widely shared.Read more here.

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AWBI putting “kambala” buffalo races on the run
AWBI is seeking a total ban on slush races “kambalas” for buffaloes, on the basis of their violation of Section 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. After the Tamil Nadu victory for the ban of Jallikattu, kambalas should be recognized as cruel.They wrote to the Deputy commissioner, asking him to ‘not grant permission for any such ‘illegal events’. Read more here.

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Gadhimai interim report
Just before Gadhimai animal sacrifice festival in Nepal, Humane Society International-India reported that the State Government of Bihar had confirmed that 47 people were arrested and 271 animals confiscated during the border patrol efforts of numerous activists representing organisations from across India.Read more here.

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Govt losing Rs 50,000 cr per year due to infertility of animals
“Unless four components Nutrition, breeding including Physiology, Health and Reproduction are brought together, control of infertility would remain a dream”, said Vice-Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University. Infertility is causing big business woes, because milk yield is directly related to pregnancy. If annual conception is natural to cows, and 30 to 40 percent are failing to conceive annually, this must be a reflection of many deficiencies in their welfare.Read more here.

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Indian wildlife watchers are using high tech equipment to seize tigers for relocation
Though couched as solutions to conflict, one wonders what the survival rate is for relocated tigers whose only crime was finding human habitation unavoidable.
The software matches stripe patterns to close in on individual tigers. They say they’re putting the tigers “out of harm’s way.” We don’t think human beings have been very good at judging what is out of harm’s way for tigers: their numbers have been depleted from an estimated 100,000 in 1900 to about 3500 today. Read more here.

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Big cats dying, ill, and vet may be unqualified at Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Excuses and incomplete explanations riddle the responses of forest department officials in the wake of a spate of deaths of four big cats (3 leopards and a lioness) during the past two months at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Critics contend the wildlife vet lacks qualifications. And none of this has stopped the MP from attempting to boost tourism at the park.Read more here.

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The number of animals many of us feared would be slaughtered at the obscene blood spectacle of Gadhimai appears to have been considerably reduced. I guess, seeing photo after photo of dead bodies from the previous Gadhimai–young animals sprawled lifelessly as far as the camera’s eye could see – went a long way in intensifying both, the number and the pain associated with Gadhimai.
Various groups claimed their dominant influence over the efforts of protestors and peace-makers in one way or another. Claims to fame hurt the feelings of some of the interventionists, and tempers sometimes rose. You saw it in facebook, you heard it over the phone, you watched yourself saying, with irate indignation, “I doubt what he said is even true.
But I think those closest to Gadhimai, however tough and prepared they think they are, might have come away a little shell-shocked. Emotionally unsteady. Who wouldn’t be? And in fact, I wouldn’t want to have a cup of tea with anyone who wouldn’t be deeply and darkly affected by those several thousands of souls who were mercilessly killed. If you felt normal after Gadhimai, something is wrong with you.

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

Best wishes,
Erika Abrams

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