In the Indian law, the animals are seen as property - no different than a table or a chair or a car. The law gives no recognition to the animal’s inherent value and any animal protection offered in the legal system caters to human interest instead of the animals independent interests.

Now in an effort to bring a definite shift in the way our law views animals, FIAPO is working on personhood for animals. After months of research and consultations with campaigners and lawyers in India and internationally, FIAPO created a case for personhood for animals, giving insight into why we need to depart from the status quo and classify animals with legal personhood.

Understanding animal rights to be an issue of both human and animal connections and interest, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations on 12th May, 2018 organised their first “National Consultation on Rights and Personhood for Animals and its linkages with Other Social Justice Movements”, inviting people from a diversity of organisations such as Amnesty International, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, Oxfam India, Non-human Rights Project and Lawyers Collective to name a few. The meeting concluded with a consensus to take up the case of Personhood for Elephants, considering their condition in our country and their abuse despite their heritage animal status.

Read the blog on 'Personhood for Animals' Meeting here

The immediate objective is to secure the status of legal “persons” for the Asian Elephant (Elephas Maximus). As a start, we are fighting for the rights of Rajini, a beautiful elephant from Indore, who is being forced to perform in magic shows and beg on the streets, despite gaping wounds on her back and significant injuries. A highly intelligent elephant, she is being denied the right to a dignified life and liberty - rights we believe are fundamental for non-human animals.

To see the complete nature of Elephants, Click here.

FIAPO has urged the District Magistrate of Indore, who is also the Chairperson of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and to Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) to take immediate action in this regard to rescue and rehabilitate Rajini.

With our local partner organization, Vinayak Animal Bird and Civic Development (VABCD) an application has also been filed to the Indore circuit bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court seeking legal action and to rehabilitate Rajini immediately.

To read the letter sent to Jadu Sansthan Agra click here

To read the letter sent to Institute of Magic and Allied Arts click here

To read the letter sent to Assam Magic Circle click here

To read the letter sent to Indian Brotherhood of Magicians click here


FIAPO’s fight for the rights of animals dates back to May 2013, when we achieved a historic victory for all cetaceans (particularly dolphins) in India. In a landmark order, The Government of India recognised that dolphins should be seen as non-human persons with their own specific rights, that it is morally unacceptable to keep them in captivity for entertainment purposes. For more information, visit Ending Dolphinaria.

FIAPO was joined by hundereds of activists from over 20 cities demanding rights for animals. The campaign gathered momentum with thousands of people standing up for Justice for Animals and popularising the hashtag #JusticeForAnimals.

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Our Supporters

Peter Singer

Author of Animal Liberation

Suparna Ganguly

Leading Voice for Elephants in India

Dr. Chinny Krishna

Former Vice Chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India

Anjali Gopalan

India’s foremost champion of LGBT rights, Naz Foundation

Surendra Varma

Leading Elephant Ecologist

Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh

Veteran conservationist, author and Padma Shri awardee

Paola Cavalieri

Philosopher, co-author and co-founder of the Great Ape Project.

Dr. Nanditha Krishna

writer, historian, environmentalist and author of "Sacred Animals of India"

Christine Townend

Author of Walking With Elephants

Kuntal Joisher

World's first Vegan to Climb Mt. Everest

Blue Cross of India

India's leading animal welfare organisation

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