Fortnightly Commentary No 73:January 15th, 2015, circ. 2000 people

Dear Members and Friends,

I am increasingly conscious of losing my mind as I ascend toward 60. Everyone seems to be waiting for the old person to forget someone’s name, drop a glass, twist an ankle, not notice the spit in the corner of his mouth. Old people! I just spent a couple of days with four kids who were all hovering around the spritely age of 11. Let me tell you, they are waaaay more out of control than the most dotty 90-year-olds I know. They can’t remember to close a door. They can’t remember not to scream for no reason. They refuse to eat more than a few spoonfuls and will come up with outlandish tastes such as “I don’t like rice.” They’re stubborn. “I don’t need a shower” they say with resoluteness just like the old man in the nursing home. Forget about forgetting names. They forget to brush their teeth, they can’t be trusted with keys, they lose their other glove, they lose their lunch box, they lose their bracelet. We don’t call THEM senile but what, I beg thee, is the difference? Only the softness of their cheeks, the shiney hair on their great big heads, their big white teeth, and their thrilling capacity to learn in big draughts—how to pet a donkey, how to kiss a dog between the ears. How to use your nose to comfort an orphaned kitten. These were some of the delightful “teachings” I was honored to bestow on visiting kids that came up from Mumbai to stay with us for a couple of days. They threw themselves into the new. Old folks forget to do that.

Fruits of Collaboration

While work continues in Jaipur to regulate meat shops, reports of a planned dog show spurred the local activists in action yesterday. Liaising with the police department and AWBI, we are all set to ensure that the dog show does not go ahead.
Meanwhile, we were in Pune last week to meet organisations and activists so we can better respond to their needs. We are now in the process of compiling the data from the individual interviews, on the basis of which the interventions will follow in early March.
Finally, Varanasi is getting ready for more hands on work. In November, activists roamed the alleyways of Assi ghat to find and treat dogs with skin infections. Now it’s time to follow up! The strength and love of Varanasi activists is going up as can be seen in the treatment of individual cases of injured animals. Recently, a pup incurred a road accident, click here to see pictures of the pup before and after!

Living Free

What better way to start a new year than by knowing that over 1 lakh people across India have been educated and reached out to!We’re pushing the number forward each day with scores of events taking place across India! Activists of Pune kicked off the nationwide exhibition board event ‘if slaughterhouses had glass walls’. The event is aimed at raising awareness and public sensitivity on animals in the food industry. The event proceeded to Coimbatore and was held in Delhi on Saturday. Here’s a report from TOI and here’s another one from The Hindu. As we celebrate this great milestone, our thanks goes out to all activists, animal lovers and the people who helped make 2014 a good year for animals.

Farm to Freedom

Taking yet another step forward on the Chicken and Meat shop campaign, we met food safety commissioner Mr. B.R. Meena and communication officer Mr. Neeraj Pawan, and presented to them the meat shop report. The report itself led to the discussion of practical solutions required, with Mr.Pawan agreeing to push the campaign forward through their own social media. We’ve also started afresh on the RTI that was filed, and are now seeking answers as to the status of chicken shops, and their licences in Jaipur.
In other news, the government along with NDDB and Amul are placing orders for 30 new milk tankers in order to push the Indian ‘Rail Milk Network’.  Each new rail milk tanker (RMT) will have the capacity of transporting 44,600 litres of milk, while 96 of these already plough the national grid. These decisions often force us to think of the skewed representation of animal welfarists in the government and the misguided use of finances from our own taxes.

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Paruh the circus elephant is set free! Read her heart-warming story here.

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Make a donation today to free others like Paruh! Click here to Donate!

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Step aside local bodies–Central Govt must approve meat shops and slaughter houses
Good news—Central Government will be
the source
for licensing slaughterhouses and meat shops—not just the local bodies. This means that favors granted by local friends will go down; compliance with rules and standards probably have a greater chance of being fulfilled. For a quick glimpse
at some of the requirements, read more here.

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Great news! Movement of captive jumbos banned in cities

The forest department has banned movement of captive elephants within any municipal corporation in the entire state of Maharashtra. In October 2013, the department had banned movement of captive elephants within the limits of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. It looks to us like part of the enthusiastic trend to put a stop to the institution of elephant cruelty. Well done, Maharashtra’s Sarjan Bhagat, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, who issued the vitally important order.Read more about it here.

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Infocus: People for Animals, Pune

From running various animal care shelters to successfully running an ABC programme, the Pune chapter of PFA seems to have a lot going on. Click here to read more about them!

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2014 in pictures

Click here to see some of the remarkable achievements for animal protection
over the last year. Thank you friends and members for a great 2014!