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Editorial

Dear [%first_name | Default Value%],
 
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation.
 
India’s rich and varied heritage has allowed for compassion, tolerance and sometimes even reverence for animals in India- however, just like across the rest of the world, the animals we all work so hard to safeguard are ultimately seen only as property. After spending a long day rescuing dogs, or cows – if you go to your local police or Municipal Corporation demanding action for any real liberation; chances are, you face the same frustrating attitude towards animals being seen as mere objects with no regard for their intrinsic value or rights. Ultimately, a cow is owned by the dairy farmer, and if the dairy farmer feels the cow should be tied all day, and if the law allows it, then that’s that.
 
For most activists like you and me, this property-status is not just frustrating but inherently unjust. The current definition of rights and personhood excludes animals on the claim that only natural persons or legal personalities have rights, protections, privileges, responsibilities, and legal liability. But these animals are sentient beings who can think and feel, and whether you are doing vegan outreach for cows and chickens, or sterilising dogs or rescuing snakes-ultimately, the one dream that binds us all is that animals are NOT property.
 
The idea of legal personhood for animals is still in its infancy globally – few work for it and fewer still are the victories. Thankfully, some rights have already been recognised in India –the release of the wild elephant “Sonu” who was held in captivity by the authorities of Achanakmar Tiger Reserve in Bilaspur Chhattisgarh, is one such example. The judgement highlighted the need for non-interference into the lives and territories of animals by humans and the government. Another battle was won when in 2013, FIAPO achieved a historic victory for all cetaceans, particularly dolphins, through its “Ban Captive Dolphins” campaign, where the MoEFCC recognised all cetaceans as nonhuman persons deeming them “extremely intelligent” with “highly-developed social structures.” All these and more have implied that after all, animals have an intrinsic right to dignity, and a life where fundamental rights are the order, and not the exception.
 
Inspired by the victories so far, FIAPO is now examining a campaign for legal personhood for animals. We have put together all the available research – legal arguments and progress, ethical arguments (such as sentience) and precedents, biological arguments (for example chimpanzees share 90% of the same DNA as humans do)– and on why we need to do this. Take a look at the full document here. But I know most of us perhaps don’t need the research – 5 minutes with any animal can tell us that (s)he has rights that need to be recognised – not just by activists, but by the legal system, and by society at large. The paradigm of seeing animals as property needs to shift to seeing animals as beings with intrinsic value who, just like humans nurture their young ones, build kinship, feel grief and are therefore worthy of  basic fundamental rights.
 
Since personhood for animals underlies the work we all do – whether for cats, dogs, cows, donkeys, snakes, birds, reptiles, horses, elephants – we want to run this campaign together with everyone in India who is standing for animals. So whether you are feedings dogs, running a shelter, rescuing cattle, or rehabilitating wildlife – demanding legal rights for animals is a victory for us all. We are hopeful you will join this effort, and collaborate with us as we start work on this issue – if this peaks your interest as it did ours, write to us.
 
 
Varda Mehrotra,
Director,
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO)
 

National News

FIAPO’s Report on Dairy Industry Leaves a Bad Taste in the Mouth
 
Picture-perfect images of cows on green pastures belie the cruelty inflicted on them in an increasingly space-deprived dairy industry, alleges the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), which has called for stricter norms in the interest of animals, public health and family welfare. In its report, Cattle-ogue, an investigation into 451 milk-producing centres across 10 States, FIAPO says that cows raised in most dairies were closely confined leaving them unable to even nurse their calves. Treated like milk-producing machines;dairy animals were genetically manipulated and pumped with antibiotics and hormones in order to produce more milk.Read More
Lions, Chimpanzees among 34 Endangered Species to Receive Special Protection
 
Recently, 34 endangered animal species including lions, chimpanzees, giraffes, leopards and a wide variety of sharks were enlisted to receive added protection at a UN wildlife conference in the
Philippines.Read More
 
 
 
This Diwali Easier on Animals: Vets
 
Vikas Luthra, Founder Director, Furever Friends Foundation, who runs a free 24-hour ambulance in New Delhi shares that the number of cases and their severity was lesser than usual this Diwali. We commend  the efforts of the honorable Supreme Court, which clearly indicates that quiet and peaceful festivities are the way forward.Read More
Veggies on the Menu
 
In spite of the fact that vegetarianism is the fastest growing movement across the globe - up until recently, it was impossible for vegetarians to join a hotel management course as they would compulsorily have to learn how to cut animals and cook meat dishes. All that will change soon thanks to  Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the Minister for Tourism who wrote that the Ministry would commence the option of vegetarian cooking as part of the BSc Degree programmes in the Central Institutes of Hotel Management directly under his Ministry.Read More
 
 
 
 
 
Street Dog Issue: Govt. Seeks Help of Voluntary Outfits
 
Admitting that the government and civic bodies do not have enough facilities to shelter and rehabilitate street dogs, Animal Husbandry Minister K. Raju urged voluntary organisations working for animal welfare to come up with viable projects to achieve that objective. Though welcome as a short term solution, a long term action plan is unimaginable without responsible government interventions. Read More
 Jumbo Expert Urges Calm
 
Elephant expert and secretary general of the Bangkok-based Elephant Rei-ntroduction Foundation, Sivaporn Dardarananda, said humans should remain calm to avoid conflict with elephants. The foundation has been working for the past few decades to reintroduce captive elephants back into the wild.Read More
 
Earth Heroes are Greening India, Protecting Wildlife
 
Committed to promoting sustainable livelihoods in ecologically vital landscapes of the country, for the seventh consecutive year, the Royal Bank of Scotland recently recognised and felicitated its Earth heroes. Of the 57 entries received, an eminent jury of veterans in nature and wildlife management selected nine of them.Jadav Payeng, who has single-handedly created a forest on 1,360 hectares of a sand bar on the Brahmaputra near Jorhat, and Iprah Mekola from Arunachal Pradesh has spent 17 years in wildlife conservation jointly bagged the awards.
 

Local News

Punjab Government Supports Rabies Free India
 
Setting out to make Chandigarh a model city for rabies and dog-bite prevention  management, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and Peedu’s People launched the ‘Rabies Free India’ campaign through an event – “The Myth of Rabies: Understanding Rabies Management’. This event, which saw the confluence of government officials, animal activists and the media, sought to raise awareness on rabies and dog bites and discuss effective strategies to combat them.Read More​
With Drones and AK-series Rifles, Kaziranga Brings Down Rhino-Poaching to 16-Year Low
 
Poachers’ guns were silent in Assam’s Kaziranga this year. Though there were two cases of poaching, this has been the lowest count since 2001. Park rangers turned to sustained surveillance, stakeouts and stealth to track down poachers, especially nightly intruders. They also used night-vision cameras, drones and eight 90-foot towers kitted out with cameras that stream live video feeds to a control room. 
Aurangabad Municipal Corporation Becomes Active on Dog Control
 
The animal husbandry department is picking up pace on keeping a check on uncontrolled breeding of dogs and rehabilitation of sick canines. AMC’s animal husbandry officer BS Naikwade said that a tender has been floated online, calling for an Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to carry out sterilisation of dogs at the cost of Rs 600 to Rs 700 per dog.Read More​
Indore Municipal Corporation raids meat shops, slaughter houses; shuts down those found violating
 
Acting on consistent complaints against meat shops and slaughter houses by FIAPO, the Indore municipal corporation acted and closed down many such shops for a range of violations.Acting under the leadership of health officer Uttam Yadav of the Municipal Corporation, the staffers raided many butcher shops between October 22-28 and uncovered violations including that of the Food Safety Act.Read More​
Trained Forest Staff, Community Participation will Reduce Man-Animal Conflicts: DC
 
A two day special training programme was organised for the frontline staff of the Forest and Wildlife Departments in Rajouri and Poonch at the campus of Department of Wildlife Protection, Government of Jammu and Kashmir. The training programme was specially designed by WWF to train the field staff on dealing with various human-wildlife conflict issues in the mountain areas.Read More​
 
Engineering Student Kills Puppy by throwing it Off Terrace, Says it Peed on my Clothes
 
In yet another case of atrocity against animals, a final year mechanical engineering student in Katpadi of Vellore in Tamil Nadu threw a puppy off a terrace of an apartment complex. This once again highlights the urgent need of education and sensitization about how animals should be treated in our country. 
 
 
Who is the Menace here?
 
With election season ongoing in Himachal Pradesh, monkey and wild animals menace is once again a poll issue. What we don't realise is the fact that it’s their home we have acquired, not the other way round.Read More​ 
 
In a separate incident, a troop of 14 monkeys, including an infant, died recently at Sitanadi Nature Camp. Locals found the monkeys dumped by the roadside at Someshwara Ghat, Nadpal. It really is time to find innovative solutions to resolve this ever increasing conflict.Read More​
 
Cattle Fairs: An example that Animals are Considered No more Than Commodities
 
A month long Sonepur cattle fair, one of Bihar’s most prominent events was recently inaugurated by the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar in Saran district.Read More​ 
 
Advertised by the government as the biggest cattle fair in Asia, The Sonepur fair is a hub for illegal trade in protected animals like elephants, langurs, nilgais and birds like parakeets. FIAPO went on to file a petition in the Patna High Court, due to which a task force committee has been set up, in order to set guidelines and implement the existing animal protection laws in the fair.Read More​
 
A five-year-old Murrah bull died due to alleged negligence in providing medical aid to animals during the ongoing state-level cattle fair in Jhajjar. The owner has blamed veterinary doctors on duty for his bull’s death and demanded adequate compensation.Read More​
 
Though this has rattled confusion on animal buyers and sellers about the fair, a news article has compared sentient beings to luxury cars, proving that animals are not considered anything more than just commodities. It goes on to say that ‘owners’ of these animals are selling them at a very high cost. The way animals are compared to non-living objects raises a question about the way they are looked upon by mankind.Read More​  
 
 

Take Action

In what is possibly the largest undercover investigation of dairies in India, FIAPO has laid bare the complete absence of regulation that permits the dairy industry to be an ongoing tragedy – on animals, consumers and civic order. The investigations, conducted across 10 states and 451 dairies, unveil the horrors and gross violations rampant in the ever-growing commercialised dairy industry.
 
Read the report here.
 
And now it’s time for you to take an action! With our campaign #EndExploitativeDairies, we are pursuing the framing of municipal regulation in states as well as overarching regulations at the Central level to bring about a change in conditions for the animals reared for milk.
 
Help us by raising your voice against the dairy industry – ask the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to bring in regulation in the Industry!
Sign the Petition
 

Meet a Member

Located in the city of Agra, Casper's Home is a canine rescue and rehabilitation center for homeless, disabled, injured and abandoned dogs. Started and managed by Vineeta Arora, the center has proved to be a boon for our street friends.  The shelter has added greatly to Agra’s ability to handle animals in distress.  Recently, they joined hands with FIAPO to help put in place a systematic First-Aid programme in Agra. Learn more about them by visiting their Facebook page.
 

Current Vacancies

  1. PR Manager
  2. Campaign Coordinator- 2 Positions
 

Coming Up

After the roaring success of the Regional Bootcamps in Bangalore and Delhi, where over 150 activists spent close to 100 hours training to build a stronger community for animals, we’re back again with #FIAPOBootcamp 2017 in Mumbai!

The events so far have been filled with common sessions on communications, online activism, restoring conflicts, and have offered multiple collaborative opportunities for people to work together – we’re positive that Mumbai will be no different. If you’ve not done so already, now is a good time to make your plans!

Date :  15th- 17th December, 2017
Venue : Keshav Srushti, Esselworld Road, Uttan Village, Bhayander (W). Thane – 401106
What’s more - We are also giving an early bird discount, if you register before the 25th of November.
Register Now
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As the collective voice of the animal rights movement in India, FIAPO
 
is the catalyst which protects the rights and interests of animals on
 
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