News & Events Categories Fiapo in News

Dia Mirza, Bollywood Celebrity, calls for a ban on animal circuses on World Circus Day

New Delhi 20th April: Animals suffering in circuses have a fresh ray of hope, with the influential actor Dia Mirza now supporting their freedom. On the occasion of World Circus Day on 15 April, Dia wrote to the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change asking to impose a ‘complete and immediate end’ to the use of all animals in circuses.

The letter from the famous actor of the vibrant entertainment industry observed “I believe that it is time we dissociate cruelty from entertainment, and let these majestic creatures be where they belong. Our culture also has many traditional art forms which showcase the skill of our artists. They should be adopted by circuses to evolve into an engaging and healthy entertainment.”

Supporting the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), which has been campaigning for the freedom of these abused animals, Dia said “I express my support to their End Circus Suffering campaign, which has helped hundreds of circus animals to be freed from this cruel form of entertainment. I urge you to consider the universal cruelty to animals in this industry and impose a complete and immediate end to the use of all animals in circuses.”

Arpan Sharma, Director of the Federation said “On World Circus Day, it is heartening to see the entertainment industry dissociating itself from cruelty to animals. We commend and thank Dia for her progressive stance and kindness to animals. The process of training animals to perform unnatural tricks is inherently abusive, as shown in numerous inspection reports. FIAPO reiterates its appeal to the ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to take note of this and ban the use of all animals in circuses. Presently, our request is with the Animal Welfare Division of the ministry, and we hope there will be a decision soon.”

The campaign End Circus Suffering, initiated by FIAPO has so far enabled the rehabilitation of more than 160 abused animals from 15 circuses. The Federation, supported by 82 members and over 200 NGOs nationwide, has also submitted a detailed report of the state of animals in circuses in India to the MoEF&CC. FIAPO’s investigations have shown animals with broken bones; infectious diseases; permanent physical and mental disorders; crippled animals that can’t even walk being forced by circuses to perform tricks.

More than 40 organisations and 100 activists from 16 states have been involved with detecting and reporting cruelty to animals in circuses, as part of the End Circus Suffering campaign initiated by the Federation. The campaign has revealed violation of multiple provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 (PCA) and the Preforming Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001 (PARR) by circuses. From cutting the flight feathers of birds to chaining elephants with spikes, circuses train animals under the harshest conditions to make them perform acts that are completely unnatural to them. The entire process of breaking these innocent creatures during training includes burning them with hot iron, piercing their genitals, threatening them with fire, tying them for days on end without food or water among other gruesome acts. Displaying such abused creatures for entertainment is a reflection of circuses’ callous attitude towards suffering of animals.

Date : 3 May 2017

Introducing Virtual Reality to Expose the Cruelties of the Indian Dairy Industry

Delhi, 18thApril 2017: Technology is moving at an unprecedented rate today. To utilize the advancement in science, FIAPO launched Virtual Reality to the animal rights realm recently to expose the reality of the dairy industry. Through this innovative means of outreach in 7 cities across India, FIAPO was able to spread awareness on the lives of millions of suppressed dairy animals.

The reality of the dairy industry is not a happy cow giving away her milk for human consumption. It is the opposite of that- practices such as Khal Bachcha- stuffed head of a dead calf; Oxytocin injections- to increase milk production and stimulate let down once the calf is dead; Artificial Insemination- unnatural impregnation of cattle by untrained staff, without anesthesia;are only few of the atrocities of the dairy industry. Once the cow or buffalo ‘dries up’, she is either abandoned or sent for slaughter or spends the rest of her life in a Gaushala with hundreds of other used and abused animals

On 12th April 2017, 27 cities across India came together to celebrate the 4th Day of Living Free, which is the anniversary for the #LivingFree Movement in India. To sensitize people to the cruelties behind dairy, activists across India conducted outreach by means of VR in Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bangalore. With the launch of Virtual Reality in outreach, FIAPO strives to educate people of the atrocities towards dairy animals in tabelas and commercial dairies. By showing people the unseen cruelty by means of an impactful experience, the probability of consumers choosing plant-based alternatives increases manifold.

The aim of the #DontGetMilked campaign is to help people make informed choices about the food that they eat, as well as the medical and ethical benefits of a cruelty-free, plant-based diet.

“The disconnect that people have from their food is increasing at an alarming rate – people are largely unaware of what’s inside their food, not to mention the unspeakable horrors that animals undergo to land up on someone’s plate. Through Virtual reality, we aim to provide a more immersive experience to the consumers, about the horrors of commercial dairies and tabelas.” said Varda Mehrotra, Director, FIAPO.
The campaign aims to expose the not so healthy side of consuming dairy, and puncture the bubble which the dairy industry has so fondly gifted to its consumers.

Date : 18 Apr 2017

Aiming for a Rabies Free Kerala!

Trivandrum, 9th March 2017: As part of Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations’ (FIAPO) Rabies Free Kerala movement, a statewide study named A dog’s life, was released today. The study shows that more than 85% of people in Kerala believe that street dogs make wonderful pets. In fact 90% of the respondents claimed improper disposal of garbage and dumping of waste by illegal slaughterhouses to be the leading causes of increase in street dog numbers.

The study further shares that the only solution to man-dog conflict lies in scientific methods of ABC-AR, solid waste management and education-awareness. Almost all people believe that killing of dogs is not a solution and that any such acts need to be stopped immediately.

In the statement given to the press, Varda Mehrotra, Director FIAPO said “we are extremely pleased to see the state wide acceptance and regard for our Rabies Free Kerala movement. We have worked extensively with local NGOs and Municipal Corporations to create awareness about sterilization being the only scientific and humane choice of animal population control. We are happy to see the positive results from our systematic focus on implementation of the ABC programme in the state and appeal to municipal bodies to take the lead on this movement. Our study has revealed that the public at large in Kerala is tolerant and accepting of street dogs and wants a humane solution to any conflict, which is also our focus.”

FIAPO also released a progress report on the initiatives taken up for management of the human-dog conflict in the state. The activities include long term and short term solutions like systematic sterilization of street dogs, vaccination against rabies, awareness on dog bite prevention, effective management of solid waste and prompt resolution of cruelty cases.

Speaking on the occasion, FIAPO representative Lakshmi Venkataraman said “The people of Kerala want a peaceful and scientific resolution to the perceived man-dog conflict. We have received positive feedback form the Suchitwa Kerala mission, IVA Kerala and Kerala Government Veterinary Officers’ Association (KGVOA). We believe in following the law of the land and feel that only ABC and ARV can prove to be a long-term solution to the current situation in Kerala. In the last few months, I have borne witness to the commendable work done by some district administrations and I am pleased to share that more districts have started the process of implementing the ABC programs systematically in coordination with the Animal Husbandry departments. I would also like to make a special mention of Kollam, that has done particularly well for the implementation of the ABC programme and I call upon other local bodies to follow their model.”

In the last two months, Rabies Free Kerala has witnessed tremendous on-ground activity in Kerala towards dog bite prevention education and sterilization-vaccination of street dogs. There have been numerous vaccination and sterilization drives, dog bite prevention awareness drives and arrangements have been made to implement ABC programmes in a robust manner, in partnership with local NGOs, municipal bodies and the animal husbandry department under the SAFE Kerala programme.

Rabies Free Kerala campaign has garnered immense support in Kerala in the past few months with local authorities, political leaders, influencers and NGOs coming together to ensure that there is a harmonious dog-human relationship. Minister for Urban Development and MLA Kattakada, along with Municipal corporations of Calicut, Kollam, Kannur, Palakkad have joined the movement.

Moreover, the movement has seen extensive support from the Zila Panchayats of Neyyatinkara, Malayinkeezhu, Patanamthitta; in addition to Indian Vet Association, Kerala Government Veterinary Officers’ Association and Sujithwa Kerala Mission. Moreover, 12 local Kerala animal NGOs (Daya (Muvattupuzha), SPCA Kochi, Forest Association, Beauty without Cruelty, Care for Animals, Dhyan Foundation, PFA Trivandrum, Street Dog Watch (Kovalam), PFA Kollam, SPCA Kollam, PAWS Thrissur and University of Veterinary Sciences, Wayanad have also joined the movement.

Representatives of the Federation, Ms Lakshmi Venkataraman and Mr. Ramadas M K were present at the conference

Date : 20 March 2017


New Delhi, 16th march 2017 : In a latest development to FIAPO’s EndCircusSuffering campaign letters of protest are pouring in from all over the country and abroad to the office of Mr. Anil Madhav Dave, the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to stop the abuse of animals in circuses. The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has united over 100 national and international animal protection organisations including the Asia for Animals coalition, the Born Free Foundation, Four Paws and other giants in animal rights.

FIAPO’s End Circus Suffering Campaign has highlighted cruelty to animals in Indian circuses and helped rehabilitate more than 170 animals so far. The campaign has worked with more than 43 organisations and 120 activists in 16 states so far, to develop a complete picture of the abuse of animals in circuses. The demand for an end on animal circuses comes in the wake of the discovery of abysmal conditions in which animals are kept, transported and trained. All these findings are presented in FIAPO’s report named ‘End Circus Suffering’. Prominent national organisations like Thane SPCA, CUPA, Blue Cross of Hyderabad and HAS have joined the letter writing campaign.

In their letters, the organisations, many of whom have facilitated legislation for protection of circus animals and their rescue in the past, have noted that “The sight of animals performing degrading ‘tricks’ sends completely the wrong message to the general public. At a time when we are all keen to see the better treatment of animals in India, the message from circuses is that animals are there only for our entertainment and we don’t need to consider their welfare. That, especially for young people, is a deeply damaging message which we should be taking bold steps to curtail. We can do that by finally banishing the use of animals in circuses forever.”
Acknowledging the massive support, FIAPO director Arpan Sharma said “This coming together of organisations for a common cause of ending cruelty to circus animals only goes on the re-iterate how the people all over the world feel about it. Circus animals are mistreated extensively and it is only right to put an end to this cruelty. We at FIAPO are happy that all these organisations believe in the work we have done so far and join hands with us to further the movement. We hope that we will be able to further strengthen our voice and reach the right people, who will hopefully listen to us and agree to stop this cruelty.”

Brutality to animals in circuses is not unknown. Various courts throughout the country have ordered seizures of animal from circuses on grounds of cruelty and violations of the law. Further, forest departments and police departments at various locations have had to seize animals on similar grounds. In fact, the CZA and AWBI have cancelled licenses of numerous circuses for repeated violation of rules in the past. FIAPO along with all other organisations would like to urge the ministry to stop the unacceptable and mindless suffering of animals in cages and in the ‘entertainment’ ring.

FIAPO is the collective voice of the animal rights movement in India, it is the catalyst which protects the rights and interests of animals on local, regional and national levels – through education, research, lobbying, mobilization, networking, training and direct action. For the movement, by the movement: FIAPO was created by visionaries in the animal rights movement who saw the strength in unifying to realize their dreams of making India a better place for animals.

Date : 16 Mar 2017

The Biggest Vegan Fest of the Country, Pune Vegan Fest Benchmarks Vegan Festivals

The second edition of the Pune Vegan Fest, held on 4th & 5th March 2017, saw a myriad of events, activities and shopping opportunities ranging from health products, apparel, cosmetics, household products, this 2 day festival showcased, as well as benchmarked new age veganism in India! Veganism is not the rocket science people make it out to be, it’s a way of celebrating life, all life! Staying true to its intent, this strikingly woven festival organised by Living Free Pune, was not only to celebrate cruelty free living, but also promote upcoming cruelty free business ventures by way of networking and endorsing. With partnerships from pioneer brands and venues, this year had 35 vegan stalls and a footfall of over 3,000 people!

Date : 07 Mar 2017

The Relationship Between Yellow Journalism and the Human-Dog Conflict

In a classic example of “sensationalizing journalism” a writer from a reputed media house recently wrote an article, capitalising on human fears and horrors of dogs by referring to street dogs as a “menace,” by using the word “feasting” in an unsupported accusation of dog mauling, and by not mentioning crucial problem for dogs. Such problems might include uncontrolled garbage as a factor contributing to the current population, loss of habitat, two and three-fold growth in automobile traffic over the last few years and basic lack of integrity on the part of the Amritsar Municipal Corporation to sterilize street dogs in Amritsar. Not just this, similar cases of the human-dog confict seeing an uglier turn due to the media’s irrational sensationalism, similar case in Bareily was reported too( , resulting in the possibility of rise in vigilantes; FIAPO gauged the potential outbreak and wrote to the concerned ministry to implement ABC programmes with immediate effect. A similar situation was to be seen in Amritsar’s Tarn Tara District too(Read more: also intervened when in Lucknow, the media reported the illegal dislocation street drive-and the Municipal Corporation washed hands off the reported allegations.  It appears to FIAPO, the hungry media adds to people’s fears rather than alleviating it through information and solutions. On the flipside, the media also reported complaints from an animal protection activist in Visakhapatnam is shedding light on the heartbreaking dog cruelties, violations of law and gross mismanagement of an ABC programme run by the Vizag Municipal Corporation( More information:

The Rise & Rise of Human-Wildlife Conflict

Crop damage caused by animals is of understandable concern to farmers. What they don’t, or can’t, sometimes sympathize with is the extent to which human population has depleted the food source for wildlife, leaving them with nothing at all if they don’t raid the nearby fields. Environment Trust suggests physical barriers to protect wildlife and people from each other in the Northeast (Read more: Meanwhile the wildlife attacks from a neighbouring wildlife sanctuary in Odisha are blatantly being ignored by the government; the latest to come to limelight are the #GiantRefugeesAnthgarh, Odisha and  Panthers and leopards, desperate for habitat as India’s human population skyrockets, have been forced from their habitats into human-populated areas in search of food. Not only is land which the big cats need developed for residential use, but with widespread grass poaching throughout India, natural food for big cats such as ground nested eggs, rodents and birds are being continuously depleted. Know more:
FIAPO knows that if there’s not enough forest and grassland because of growing human presence and exploitation of land, the future of wildlife is grim whether there are barriers or not. What choice do they have? Incidentally, the country celebrated World Wildlife Day by destroying poaching trophies at Delhi Zoo Hide of tigers and other products from wildlife so that people understand that after the court has passed its judgment and that such items are not a token of merit but of disgrace. See-

Date : 07 Mar 2017

The Other Side of the Booming Pet Industry

With the ever- more segments being introduced and marketed to the already booming pet industry (see , one has to consciously be mindful of its positive and negative impact on the minds of people- while on one hand, it’s positive that pet nutrition is being glamourized (see , but on the other, so is pet breeding and pet  shops.
With the recent drafts being sent by FIAPO to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to amend the pet breeding and pet shop rules of the country, we are hoping that the enforcement and amendments in the these rules will positively impact in decreasing pet breeding and therefore, the pet shops. While the pet shop owners’ feel threatened by the constant action in this space and are henceforth holding their own protests-

The Tale of the Cat-astrophic Science Experiment for Young School Children!

After the horrifying incident of a fatal cat experiment in an environmental studies textbook for 4th class children came up, asking children as young as 9 years to suffocate a cat on the pretext of understanding the importance of breathing! FIAPO immediately took to action, reaching out to the publication house- PP Publications to remove the illegal (and unethical) content advocating for a cruel experiment on kittens.The threatened publication house was quick to promise us with:

  • Withdraw the publication from the distributors
  • Not sell from the existing stock
  • Not reprint the same content for the next academic year

Mindfulness of things published about animals, especially something unethical and illegal and be mindful of people’s sentiments.
In its latest development, The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will review textbooks of private publishers taught in its affiliated schools. Read about the whole incident here:

Central Zoo Authority& Children Urge MoEF&CC to #EndCircusSuffering for Elephants!

It’s a golden moment in the Indian Animals Right Movement, with the Central Zoo Authority supporting the proposal to end the use of elephants in circuses, and ensure their rehabilitation. There are also suggestions to cancel ownership certificates and rehabilitate elephants still in possession of the derecognized circuses; more involvement from AWBI & Project Elephant is on the cards too. Elephants, even though being a Schedule 1 species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and have been suffering in the hands of their ‘rightful’ owners!
This recommendation has been made in light of the numerous inspection reports & notices documenting the widespread illegalities and cruelty to elephants in circuses. Based on which, CZA had previously de-recognised all circuses (but one), owing to the clear violation of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. With CZA’s ambit of wild animals, it has recommended that using elephants be completely stopped in Indian circuses. Resonating with the same thoughts, a group of Higher Secondary school children visited the Ministry with 1000 postcards, each with a personal message from school children across India about why they don’t want to see animals in circuses! Read more here-