Fortnightly Commentary No 81: April 24th, 2015, 6000 people

Dear Friends & Members,

I met a tall young black girl last week and fell in love with her in a train station in London. She had on high heels and a white suit, held a brief case and appeared like a sleek dark angel. When she found me I was desperate, struggling with two over-stuffed suitcases which were heavier than I could bear. No trolleys, no porters, no alternative but to cry and flail like a beetle turned on his back. I was in a big hurry. The purpose of my journey was to meet a young woman with cancer who wants to use her illness to raise money for donkeys in India. I needed to catch a particular subway to a different station, and then find the platform and board a train, all within 20 minutes in a station bustling with people who each seemed to know exactly what he was doing, coolly breezing past my sweating and anguished brow with faint smug smiles on their faces. As I dragged my bags, loaded with logo-bearing tee-shirts and brochures, toward a treacherous escalator, my angel said “Can I help you with those?” She stayed with me for 15 minutes on the subway and right to the security turnstile of the next station, and when I was safely through, she disappeared in the crowd before I even had a chance to thank her. Sometimes even people are as sweet as animals.


Fruits of Collaboration

The wonderful collaborative work to rescue all animals from a circus is followed by the addition of a new supporters to FIAPO! RAWW, who contributed significantly in ensuring the freedom of Moonlight circus animals, is keen on joining FIAPO! Read more about them in our In Focus this week!
In more wonderful news, a new Federation is underway in Greater Mumbai! We are currently looking into the state of the animal protection movement there to better understand and address the need of the city!


Dog Tales

The Varanasi summers predict a tough time ahead for all street animals, but thanks to the growing movement of animal protection there, rescue calls from locals as well as activists are only going up! The past two weeks saw the successful treatment of over 7 critical cases, thanks to the efforts of Dr. U.B. Singh.
With the exam season coming to an end, we also sensitised the students of Army Public School in Varanasi, educating them about the importance of putting out water bowls for dogs and birds alike. Various other issues like plastic and how it adversely affects cows were also discussed.


Living Free

With every new campaign, the Living Free programme sets its benchmark higher. The Day of Living Free: Free Your Imagination campaign reached out to over 4000 people!

Encouraging people to lead a more caring and cruelty free life towards all animals has been the aim of Living Free. This push is given by holding various campaigns, events, stalls, painting walls, presentations, adopt a college and many more of such ideas.

To conduct or start Living Free in your city, contact

Farm to Freedom

Recently, members of the Jaipur Federation participated in local direct action to improve the conditions of animals in meat shops and stop illegal slaughter in Jaipur. As a result illegal meat was seized from the shops in Pratap Nagar whereas shops in Gandhinagar will start providing food and water to chickens and make basic infrastructural improvements that have a major impact on their welfare!
Undertaken in association with the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC), the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and most importantly, the local activists, the Federation is keen on improving the lives of farm animals in meat shops across Jaipur.


Freeing animals from circuses, stopping illegal slaughter and more! Help support our work. Click here to donate!


Dharamshala :- A sanctuary for humans and animals alike!

This week we had a chance to visit some of our animal protection colleagues in the Dharamsala-McLeodganj area – and what a treat it was!! We found really happy animals at the Tibet Charity’s animal care division. Lobsang and his colleagues have also been responsible for many of the sterilised dogs in McLeodganj. Dharamsala Animal Rescue is a model to learn from for good management practices. With a strong focus on on-the-spot care of animals, DAR has invested heavily in training and capacity building of their staff. Finally we saw the unique space being developed by Worldly Wags that is meant to be a resource for members of the Indian animal protection community to live and work out of. If any of you are in the vicinity of Dharamsala-McLeodganj don’t miss visiting these wonderful organisations. Tashi Delek !!


Avian Influenza leads to the culling of 3.8 million egg laying hens in U.S and Canada!

In an effort to control a fast spreading pandemic of the H5N2 avian influenza, workers scrambled to kill the 3.8 million egg laying hens at Sunrise Farms near Harris in Osceola County, Northeaster Iowa. Read more here.


Infocus: Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare

Human wildlife conflict management is this super young organisation’s focus area. What’s more, they are gung ho about collaboration! Read more about them here.


Slaughterhouses in Chennai face threat of closing down

The Chennai Corporation’s slaughterhouses face the threat of being closed if they do not provide a detailed report on the approval given by the state pollution control board.The National Green Tribunal had asked the Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to submit the report soon. The proceedings were initiated after animal welfare organization People for Cattle in India (PFCI) moved the tribunal seeking a ban on illegal slaughterhouses in October 2013. Read more here!

Animal ambulance on the anvil in Agra

An ambulance for ferrying sick and injured animals along the lines of helpline ’108′ will soon be started in Agra. The ambulance will have lifesaving facilities and the ability to ferry both small animals as well as cattle. Surat Gupta, President of People for Animals, Agra (PFAA), lauded the scheme and said that such a facility had been long required.So far, ambulance services were only limited to wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Read more here.

Ludhiana’s Municipal Corporation Accused of Botching ABCs

Residents of Ludhiana are claiming that dog deaths post sterilization are on the rise in the city. Broken stitches and poor post-operative care are cited as the main reasons for these untimely deaths. This sterilization drive is part of a Rs. 2 crore project, meant to sterilize 25,000 dogs in one year as per the guidelines of the Animal Welfare Board of India. Read more here.


Nagpur Folks Giving 400 Free Bird Feeders to Residents

With hot summer days already here, a group of homemakers have started a unique initiative distributing earthen bird-feeders free of cost to the citizens. These have been tailor-made and are spacious enough to accommodate many feathered creatures. The president of the initiative commented, “We have designed them in such a way that birds can sit and relax in the cool water to get some respite from the blazing heat,” Read more here.

Commission says Human Rights
Don’t Mean Animal Rights in

Practicing human rights didn’t lend itself well to non-humans in Thiruvananthapuram, where national human rights commission members, including the chairman Justice K G Balakrishnan apprised the central government, the Supreme Court and the Animal Welfare Board of the stray dog issue. “We cannot suggest any immediate measures as there is a Supreme Court order preventing the killing of stray dogs,” said Justice Balakrishnan. Read more here.

Chimpanzees May Soon Gain Legal “Person” Status in USA

For the first time in US history, a judge has granted two chimpanzees a petition – through human attorneys – to defend their rights against unlawful imprisonment, allowing a hearing on the status of “legal persons” for the primates. A part of the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), the court has implicitly determined that the two chimps, Hercules and Leo are in fact, ‘persons’.”Read more here.


I celebrated the phenomenal outcome of the work done by animal protectors to free animals from India’s Moonlight Circus last week by watching the video of an Indian elephant named Shirley, age 53, who had been rescued 20 years before from a circus in America, but whose zoo didn’t have space for a second elephant. Consequently, Shirley didn’t see another elephant for 20 years until she was relocated to another zoo. The new zoo holds an amazing surprise for Shirley and from now on whenever I think about her relief from sorrow, I will think about the precious activists here in India who have worked so hard, so long, so intelligently and with such determination. To innocent prisoners held in a wicked jail you have brought light, love, and the vast joy of freedom to extend the reach of eager legs, roll in grass, decide for themselves to take a sun bath or lay in a pond, whether to rest or run, and then do it!


Erika Abrams

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