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Dear [%first_name | Default Value%],
 
The Madurai District administration’s most recent move to make Aadhaar mandatory for all bull tamers participating in Jallikattu could not have come at a better time. With annual Jallikattu ‘celebrations’ starting from the 14th of January, this interim decision would go a long way in limiting the participation, and in some cases, the eventual fatality, of both, bulls and bull tamers. The decision also places greater liability on participants, who will now be unable to send ‘proxy players’ to play in their stead.
 
This timely win however, is bittersweet. While the biometric tsunami of the Aadhaar project shreds the very idea of privacy and civil liberty allowing countless government and non-government bodies the unlawful luxury of surveillance, today it serves as a gatekeeper to the tyrannical practices of Jallikattu in the name of tradition.
 
While the news has certainly not gone down well with the locals – this new impediment seems to be another step that may eventually lead to the phasing out of the ‘tradition’ of Jallikattu. For anyone outside the purview of animal activism, the case of Jallikattu makes for an interesting interplay between the cross roads of culture and civility.
 
Here’s how the events transpired in a nutshell - In 2011, the MoEF passed a notification banning the use of bulls as performing animals, thereby banning the event- the practice however continued under the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009 until 2014, when, the Supreme Court struck down the state law, banning Jallikattu altogether. Following the protests of January 2017, the Tamil Nadu government brought a state law in place that legally allowed the practice to continue for now. These laws are currently under challenge at the Supreme Court by various animal organisations including FIAPO, and a constitution bench is going to look into the validity of such laws.
 
With all the elements of politics, drama and culture in the mix, the battle between the government, the judiciary, animal activists and upholders of Tamil tradition is far from over. The tete-a-tete- does however, reflect a shift in our collective conscience – that astutely shuns barbarism in the name of tradition or sport. The moral and cultural compass of our civilisation has broadened the horizon of what appears unjust today and the past few years are replete with examples of such incidents – in 2011 Catalonia became the first Spanish city to ban bullfighting, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s announced in 2015 that they will retire their circus elephants by 2018, thanks to Mexico banning the use of exotic animals for entertainment, and in 2016, SeaWorld also announced the end of Orca breeding and performances. The growing repository of cases banning the use of animals in entertainment, point to the medieval and archaic nature of such traditions whose time is nearing an inevitable end. Hopefully, a decade or two from now, we will be able to view animal entrainment as a quaint hangover of the 20th century – till then, let’s keep our marching hats on and fight the battle for the days to come. 
 
Varda Meherotra, 
Director, 
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).
Cows: Murder, Milk or Mata?
 
As the country continues to witness incidents of increasing cattle smuggling, a Delhi High Court bench noted that despite photographic evidence that proves otherwise, no authority has submitted any data on prosecution of illegal cattle smuggling (Read More). A lack of alertness on the part of authorities has resulted in the flourishing of cattle smuggling along the  border districts of Alwar and Bharatpur (Read More). This calls for better management and proper implementation of laws, so that such incidents of animal smuggling are reduced in the country. In another incident, more than 58 cows died in less than 28 days in a cow shelter in Madhya Pradesh. Though a three member committee has been set up to probe the issue, the conditions of these shelters certainly leave room for vast improvement. (Read More).
Poachers on the Rise: Survey 2017
 
According to a survey by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) Pangolin scales; skins and bones of Tigers and Leopards; and Rhino horns were the most traded  wildlife products in India in 2017. (Read More). In a separate incident, forest personnel seized around 1,500 turtles and arrested three people for illegally transporting the animals in Odisha's Malkangiri district (Read More). It is unfortunate that we fail to understand that these animals are living beings and should not be treated as mere commodities for human use.
Surya Singh and his Family of 118 Rescued Dogs
 
In Bengaluru, where animal cruelty seems to be on the rise, a few kind souls are continuing with their struggle to help animals.  Surya Singh and his wife Anju, who have set up SAI – Save Animals India shelter located behind Yelahanka airport station – to help animals in distress, are one of them. (Read More)
Five Elephants Killed by a Train in India
In yet another tragic incident, five elephants were killed by a speeding train as they crossed tracks at a tea plantation in northeast India. The elephants were part of a larger herd wandering through the plantation in Assam when they were mowed down by the train. Accidents like these can be easily prevented, by simple methods such as  proper barricading. (Read More)
News on the Big Cats
 
The tiger census is expected to be taken up in Telangana in January 2018, a senior official of the state forest department said. This would be the first census of the striped animals in Telangana after the formation of the state. The last such count was carried out in 2013-14 in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. We hope that the state will turn out to be a new haven for the most endangered and charismatic animal of the sub continent (Read More). Meanwhile, in Ballari district, Karnataka a leopardess was killed after being hit by an unknown vehicle while crossing National Highway-13 at Potalakatta Cross. Wildlife activist V Madhu Shankar said officers should proactively take up  night combing to protect animals. Apart from night combing, measures like building barricades along the highway should be taken, so no animals are part of such accidents in the future. (Read More)
Activists File Police Complaint Against Bullock Cart Race
 
An animal rights activist has lodged a complaint with Kashimira police station after a video of bullock carts racing on the Mira-Bhayander Road went viral on social media. The 28-second long video was shot on December 25. FIAPO appreciates the efforts of these animal activists who help save numerous sentient lives with their proactive alertness.(Read More)
Elephant Tramples Two to Death – Man-Animal Conflicts Ring Safety Alarm
 
A wild elephant trampled two men to death in Kalahandi district Odisha, in the latest instance of man-animal conflict in the state. The victims, MethaMajhi, 60, and PitmabarMajhi, 55, were returning home from a fair at a nearby village when the tusker trampled them to death, said a forest official. Odisha is home to 1,976 elephants, according to the latest headcount. (Read More)
Gurgaon residents, activists at odds over animal capture
 
Residents and animal rights activists are at odds over the capture of stray dogs, pigs and monkeys in the city. Animal rights activists, who feed stray animals in the area, claimed that they often get into quarrels with members of nearby residential societies, as they protest against people hired by the MCG to capture these animals. Legally, a municipal corporation cannot pick up street dogs unless it is for sterilisation. (Read More)
Veterinary hospital at BirTalab zoo awaits doctors, staff as animals suffer
 
The veterinary hospital situated on the premises of the BirTalab zoo in Bathinda, has been lying non-functional since its inception. A total of 355 animals of 14 different species are living in the zoo. It’s time the authorities treat animals dependent on human care with priority and provide the much needed care for animals at the zoo. (Read More)
Take Action
End Circus Suffering (ECS) is FIAPO’s national campaign to stop the suffering, of all animals in circuses by lobbying with the government and local authorities, raising awareness, generating public opinion and initiating direct action. Till date, we have has rescued 167 animals from 13 circuses across India. The campaign has also been able to mobilise and create a strong network of 114 activists, from 45 organisations across 18 states.
So far, we’ve been successful in getting a partial ban on the use of elephants in circuses across India – we’re now looking forward to a complete ban on the use of any and all animals in circuses.
Join the network of over 150 NGOs and activists across the country. Ask MoEFCC to #EndCircusSuffering.
Sign the Petition
Meet A Member
RAMAIYA FOUNDATION
 
Located in the city of Varanasi, Ramaiya Foundation is an NGO dedicated to serving thousands of injured, and ill street animals by providing onsite medical aid and food. They believe that animals are born with us on earth, and not for us.
The foundation also organises adoption camps in Varanasi from time to time. You too can help them by donating food or volunteering for the cause. Contact them to know more about the work they do for our fellow inhabitants!
Click Here
Coming Up
 
 
Federaion of Indian Animal Protection Orgnisation (FIAPO)
E-18A. E-Block,
East of Kailash,
New Delhi.