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Dear [%first_name | Default Value%],
 

The Difference between Vigilantes and Animal Rights Activists

Stories of acts of violence by Gau Rakshaks– in the name of non-violence towards animals (specifically cows) – have gripped the country. In the midst of the tragic death of a Muslim man by cow protection vigilantes and knee-jerk and poorly-planed schemes and laws to punish ill-treatment of cows, news also came in of individuals who beat up 3 Muslim men transporting buffaloes. Significant debate followed on whether they were animal rights activists or Gau Rakshaks. After all, each of us probably knows animal rights activists within our community who have stopped trucks and rescued cattle being transported illegally.
 
The waters are muddy – at least from the public’s point of view.
 
Yet, there is a sharp distinction. Animal rights are for all animals, for their intrinsic value and right to life, not to be seen as commodities that are to be used by human beings as food, or clothes, or entertainment. Gau Raksha, on the other hand, is an extremely narrow view which is speciesist (only bovine, specifically cows), sexist (cows not bulls) and motivated by religious beliefs. Not only is there a huge difference in ideology, but as a movement based in non-violence, we also completely disagree with the violent tactics adopted by Gau Rakshaks. But the waters are muddied and now genuine initiatives against cruel treatment meted out to cows taken up by animal rights activists are likely to be referred to as acts of vigilantism too. Even initiatives to promote vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are likely to be viewed as a part of the same spectrum of vigilantism, thus setting back the hard work of many hundreds of grassroots activists that run campaign to reduce and end the consumption of animal products.
 
Rogue Gau Rakshaks are self-appointed, self-styled vigilantes, perpetrating violence and terror in the guise of animal rights activists. Not only are we completely opposed to such elements, we are shocked by their extremely narrow vision, invariably failing to serve even the cow protection cause in its entirety. What happens to the cows they rescue? They land in shelters that are equally pathetic for any animal and which do not have sufficient fodder, access to veterinary doctors and fail to provide even the basic minimum quality of life. Eventually, most of the cows die a miserable death. Why is the treatment of cows in dairies across India absent from their criticism? Why aren’t Gau Rakshaks vegan?
 
The lack of respect for the intrinsic value of animals marks the clear distinction between Gau Raksha vigilantism and Animal Rights Activism. We at FIAPO sincerely hope that there is strict action against the unlawful acts of these self-proclaimed ‘cow protectors’. And for those genuine animal rights activists who are caught in this storm, we stand by you.
 
We will not allow Animal Rights activism, which stands strong on the fundamental respect to all lives, to become a conduit to further religious and political vested interests, locally, regionally or nationally!
 
 
 
Varda Mehrotra,
Director,
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations(FIAPO)
 

National News

Virtual Reality to Spread
Awareness about Animal Rights
 
Technology is moving at an unprecedented rate and FIAPO’s Living Free is leaving no stone unturned to make the most of it!On The Day of Living Free, 12th April, we launched Virtual Reality to the animal rights realm to expose the reality of the dairy industry. Through this innovative means of outreach, we successfully spread awareness across 7 cities to save the lives of suppressed dairy animals.

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Will a ‘Unique Identification Number’ for Cows Be Any Good to the Animal Rights Movement of India?
 
In a proposition to avail better protection of cows and prohibited smuggling of cattle across India and Bangladesh border, the Centre, in its report to the Supreme Court said each cow and its progeny across India should get a Unique Identification Number (UID). How this will help the animal rights movement of India, only time will tell!
 
 
 
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Out of MoEFCC and the Ministry of Agriculture, Whose Court has the Ball of Cow Slaughter?
 
Amid mounting attacks by cow protection vigilantes, two Union Ministries can’t seem to decide about which one of them is to draft a national law on protecting the cow. Whilst they are still deciding, there is no stopping the terror of the vigilantes!
 


 
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SC Seeks Response from Six States, Including Rajasthan, on Plea to Ban Cow Vigilantes

 
After the pitch for an all-India law against cow slaughter and an ask to the vigilante groups to obey the law while espousing the cause of protecting the animal, the SC has sought for 6 states to respond on the matter, to which Karnataka has responded. The petition stated, “The menace caused by the so-called cow protection groups is spreading fast to every nook and corner of the country and is creating disharmony among various communities and castes,”         

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Antidote to Dog Bite!
 
In response to the dog bite cases of Chandigarh and other parts of India, there is a universal tried and tested method to conquer that-dog-bite prevention education, anti-rabies vaccination and adoption. This will ensure that they are under surveillance, vaccinated and will behave better when they do not feel threatened!Read More
 
To curb the same issue of human-dog conflict in the western part of the country, The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) seems to be unsatisfied with Government Veterinary College’s performance with regards to animal birth control (ABC) operations.Read More
 
 
On World Circus Day, Bollywood Celebrity Lends Support to #EndCircusSuffering!
 
It is heartening to see the power of influence directed to fight for the rights of sentient beings! This is exactly what happened this World Circus Day when Bollywood diva, Dia Mirza, wrote a letter to Anil Madhav Dave, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) asking to impose a ‘complete and immediate end’ to the use of all animals in circuses! 
 
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Local News

The Cursed Fate of Bulls: Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and now Legalisation of Bullock Cart Race in Maharashtra
 
As feared, allowing Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu has opened the floodgates, and Maharashtra too has now legalized bullock cart races. Read More
 
Bulls are subjected to immense suffering at such events. Last month, unmindful of the scorching summer heat, hundreds of bulls and tamers competed in the Jallikattu held at Mukkampatti Village. Read More
                  
 
FIAPO is currently litigating against the use
of the bulls for Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, and elsewhere for similar events. We are extremely concerned about this alarming trend allowing the use of animals for ‘cultural’ events, amid calls for legalizing such events across the country. If this is happening near you too, write to us at mail@fiapo.org 
 
 
 
The Politics of Milking in Haryana!
 
Owing to the large scale industry that dairy is, more often than not, politics finds itself associated with it. According to Haryana CM,
the state will be street-cattle free by Independence Day. We are unsure of the long-term inference of the scheme, until there are  plans to stop the abandoning of cattle from the dairy farms in the first place.
 
In another tangent of politics in Haryana, the efforts of ‘The Kamdhenu Scheme’, launched to boost the dairy industry, now appears to be masqueraded with the vested interests of the politicians belonging to the then ruling party, according to some of the media reports. Read More
 
 
                         
 
 
The Terror of Vigilantes in the Name of Animal Protection!
 
The latest in the news of Gau Rakshaks, is the death of a man attacked in Western India by hundreds of vigilantes.Read More
            
 
Yet, despite the open front against cow slaughter in the country, the male species of
the bovine family are being shooed away from agricultural fields with the inhumane act of throwing acid on them. Read More
                        
               
 
 
The Human-Wildlife Predicament Saga
 
The human-wildlife conflict sees yet another frail attempt to tackle the worsening situation, this time by Telangana Forest Department. There are plans to organize an irrational and completely non-scientific workshop for its field level officers in use of immobilizing equipment. Isn’t it time we look at the holistic picture and start implementing scientific measures to make sure that human-animal conflict is addressed in an effective manner? Read More
                     
 
Meanwhile, in Gujarat, the latest Gujarat TourismTV advertisement brazenly invites tourists to “Race with the beautiful Neelgai, the Indian Wolf, Pelicans, the Desert Fox, Greater Flamingos, Larks,the Indian Vulture and Wild Ass at Little Rann of Kutch”. This is followed by the conjuring of the visuals of a supercharged SUV chasing a fleeing herd in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), where such an act is actually a punishable offence.  
           
 
 
Lifting Ban on Fur Trade in Jammu & Kashmir
 
A parliamentary panel has recently recommended lifting of a ban on the trade in Shahtoosh shawls, woven from the fur of an endangered Tibetan antelope, listed in Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act- granting the highest level of protection.
 
                      
 
FIAPO has written to the panel and the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change against this regressive step. The failure of the Government in providing alternate livelihood options should not result in the antelopes paying the price. Read More
                        
 
                         
 
                    
The Plight & Joys of a Companion Animal Guardian
 
With elevators, parks and gardens amongst other things, including barking and unleashed dogs not allowed in many housing societies in Mumbai, it’s easy to see to understand the frustration of animal guardians! Read More
              
 
On the flipside, it comes as a great news that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to set up pet clinics providing treatment and sterilisation of animals at cheaper rates along with plans to create cemeteries for animals across the city! 
                        
               
 
 
 
The Lies of the Lives of Laboratories Animals in India
 
On the brighter side of things, there is news of The Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animal (CPCSEA) temporarily suspending a Chennai-based Pharma Lab for falling short of meeting the AWBI guidelines and repeatedly failing to improve the conditions of its housing facility for animals, horses in this case. 
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For a detailed account of what happens to dogs used for experimentation, read Shiranee Pereira’s blog for FIAPO Behind the Mortar Walls of Laboratories that Test on Dogs
         
 
The Pitiful Begging Tales of Majestic Elephants
 
The Madras HC has recently said that taking captive elephants in private possession on streets and making them ‘bless’ commuters for a `fee’ amounts to begging. District forest officers must stop the practice by scrupulously following the law which bans it, the court said. 

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Take Action

When you consume milk in any form, you’re buying into cruelty – repeated artificial impregnations, starved calves, slaughtered male calves, infant calves separated from their mothers at birth, suffering on short tethers and concrete floors.
 
You’re buying into propaganda – that cow’s milk is the perfect food. Milk is only a short term nutrient for new born calves, it’s not meant for humans.
Here’s the truth and it’s not quite as sweet as a strawberry milk shake…
 
The dairy industry isn’t just milking cows, it’s milking you!
 
Pledge Now
 

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The Blue Cross of India was established in 1959 and registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act in 1964 to alleviate the suffering of animals. It has grown from small beginnings to become one of India's largest animal welfare organisations, running active animal welfare, animal rights and humane education programmes.
The work of the Blue Cross has received national and international recognition. Its Office Bearers have served on many State and Central Government Committees over the last forty years
.To know more about them, visit their website.
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