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.
Author of Animal Liberation
Leading Voice for Elephants in India
Dr. Chinny Krishna
Former Vice Chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India
India’s foremost champion of LGBT rights, Naz Foundation
Leading Elephant Ecologist
Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh
Veteran conservationist, author and Padma Shri awardee
Philosopher, co-author and co-founder of the Great Ape Project.
Dr. Nanditha Krishna
writer, historian, environmentalist and author of "Sacred Animals of India"
Author of Walking With Elephants
World's first Vegan to Climb Mt. Everest
Blue Cross of India
India's leading animal welfare organisation
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- Not An Object, Not Your Property: Why Animals Need The Right To ‘Personhood’