News & Events Categories News on Animals in India

Dasara festival likely to take toll on sheep scheme

Hyderabad: Ensuing Dasara festival is giving jitters to the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) officials as they will have to procure about 2.5 lakh animals to meet the target under the State government’s flagship programme of sheep distribution by the end of the September.

According to sources, the en masse sourcing of lakhs of sheep for the scheme had already pushed the open market prices of sheep and ram in States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. So far, the State has augmented about 18.75 lakh animals and, 2.5 lakh more animals will have to be procured to meet the set target of 20 lakh distribution by Dasara festival.

Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official said that a unit of 20 sheep and a ram had been procured based on live weight of the animals and Rs 6,000 per unit. However, the festival demands that it would further push the open market prices per unit to about Rs 8,000, he said. Procuring at high prices during the festival season might put unnecessary financial burden on the scheme, he added.

It was against this backdrop that the officials are mulling to suggest to the government to delay procurement and distribution till the festive season was over so that procurement could be taken up at normal prevailing prices in the open markets, the sources said.

Source : http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Telangana/2017-09-17/Dasara-festival-likely-to-take-toll-on-sheep-scheme/327109

Date : 18 September 2017


In Rajasthan, BJP faces the first serious challenge to its cow politics – from angry farmers

Prahlad Singh, a farmer from the Sikar district in Rajasthan, winced and pointed to the barbed wires surrounding his crop of bajra. “We need to put this up or awara, feral cows will eat up all my crop,” he said. “I spend thousands on this, what can I do?”

Politics around the cow has taken centre stage in India of late, being one of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s main planks. The communal polarisation around the issue has helped the party do well electorally. The BJP is now in the government of 16 states and, most recently, won Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. Yet, the cow is not only a religious animal in India – it is also an economic one. The BJP’s focus on cow protection has hit the bovine economy hard. Farmers are finding it difficult to sell cattle. This means falling incomes and increasingly large herds of abandoned cattle that pose a threat to crops.

This squeeze has resulted in a reaction from farmers in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. In response to a call from the All India Kisan Sabha, the farmer’s body of the Communist Pary of India (Marxist), since September 1, farmers gathered in large numbers at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Mandi in Sikar town. They also implemented a chakka jam, roadblock of the major highways crossing the district resulting in a near paralysis. The farmers were angry at their falling incomes. They demanded loans waivers, better prices and a let up in the draconian rules that now govern the sale of cattle slaughter in Rajasthan. On Thursday, 13 days after the agitation started, the Rajasthan government gave in to the movement and agreed to meet their demands.

“Livestock is a farmer’s ATM,” said Amra Ram. “Anytime he needs money, he sells a cow or a goat.” The main face of the Sikar agitation, 61-year old Ram is a three-time MLA from the CPI(M) and National President of the All India Kisan Sabha.

Ram explained how livestock is crucial to the life of a farmer. “Thirty percent of a farmers income comes from selling milk and animals,” said Ram. “First notebandi hit the farmer severely. But he will still recover from that. You kill the animal trade and the farmer will never recover.”

Livestock is especially crucial to Rajasthan given its status as an arid state with a low population density. As per the 19th Livestock Census, 2012, Rajasthan had the second largest population of livestock of all the states across the Indian Union. However, of late, growth has plateaued. While from 2003 to 2007, the livestock population grew by 15.3%, the rate of increase between 2007-2012 was only 1.9%.

Cow protection

Bhagwan Bagariya, a Kisan Sabha member and farmer from Badadar village, Sikar traced the inflection point to 1995, when the BJP government in Rajasthan had passed a stringent cow slaughter law (it was so strict that it upturned the dictum of innocent-until-proven-guilty and placed the burden of proof on the accused). Rajasthan even has a dedicated ministry for gau-kalyan, cow welfare.

“Earlier when a bacchra, male calf, was born, the farmer was happy, his whole family was happy,” explained Bhagwan Bagariya. “It meant he would earn Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 by selling it. But now that has nearly stopped. There are no buyers.”

Bhagwan Bagariya pointed to the state of Rajasthan’s large animals fairs to buttress his point. “Once the animal fair in Naguar [around three hours from Sikar town] was the biggest in Asia,” he claimed. “But now it is barely anything.”

The decline in the livestock trade, though, is not all due to the law. A large part is played by gau rakshak gangs, who often assault traders transporting cows, buffaloes and even goats. “Go raksha dals stop even farmers if we step out with our animals,” complained Gurdeep Singh from Rashidpura village in Sikar. “Due to this, animal traders have got scared and now they have stopped coming to our villages to buy our old cattle.”

“Look what happened to Pehlu Khan,” pointed out Subhash Bagariya, a farmer from Badadar village. Khan, a dairy farmer, was lynched by a gau rakshak gang on April 1 in Rajasthan. While Khan named six people in a dying declaration, the Rajasthan Police claimed the names weren’t reliable and summarily closed the case. “If the gau raksha gangs will never be caught, why should a trader risk his life to buy and sell our animals?”

Given that the cow plank has helped the BJP politically, rather than pull back, the party has of late pushed it even harder. In 2015, the BJP-controlled Rajasthan government made the rules against the transport of cattle even stricter. Earlier this year in May, the Union government drafted a new rule that banned the sale of cattle and buffaloes for slaughter, though the restriction was stayed two months later by the Supreme Court.

In 2015, the Rajasthan government even passed a law that placed stringent restrictions on the trade in camels, effectively killing off the industry. In 2016, the famous camel fair in Pushkar saw only 2,500 camels on sale compared to 40,000 a decade ago.

“We had so many camels in this area till some time back,” rued Subhash Bagariya. “But now they are all gone.”

Kishan Singh, who retired from the Indian Army, owns 20 bighas of land and harshly criticised the new laws. “Neither these politicians nor these gau rakshaks have ever handled a cow, it seems. These new rules mean we simply can’t sell cattle. And it costs Rs 50,000 to keep a cow for a year. How can a farmer afford it?”

Feral cattle

Neither able to sell nor keep his cows, the farmer has chosen the only other option available to him: abandonment. This means that herds of feral cattle are a growing menace across states in north and west India with harsh cow slaughter laws.

The issue has gripped the politics of many states. The Madhya Pradesh Assembly has fiercely debated the feral cattle menace even as Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister wanted all stray cattle to be in sheds by September 15. Both Haryana and Rajasthan are also discussing the viability of having specially designated sanctuaries for feral cows while Kota city wants to sterilise stray bulls in order to keep the bovine population from growing.

So acute is the issue that feral cattle are even causing deaths. In Surat, Gurjarat, stray cattle cause 25 accidents everyday and in Delhi, a BJP member was mauled to death by a stray bull. In response, Ahmedabad police have threatened to book cattle owners who abandon their livestock with culpable homicide.

The scale of the problem made feral cattle a major question in the Sikar stir. Farmers were angry with herd of cattle eating up their crops and the cost and effort required to keep the animals out. The fact that farmers were able to bring Sikar district to a halt for around a week meant the government was forced to sit up and take note. In an agreement reached with the All India Kisan Sabha on Thursday, the Rajasthan government promised to firm up the cow shelters in the state, put in a scheme to fence fields and amend forest laws. Most impactfully, the Rajasthan government also promised to make it easier to trade in cattle. It said that it would reduce the age limit of the male calf when a farmer is allowed to sell it from three to two years. The government also promised to make complete arrangements to protect cattle traders.

Experts have continuously pointed to the detrimental effects the curbs on cow slaughter and trade would have. The culling of livestock is crucial to animal husbandry. In Sikar, this meant that farmers were ready to agitate in order to force the government to back off. For the first time since the BJP formed the government in New Delhi, the party was forced to retreat on its policy of cow protection.

“Pashu vyapari aur kisan ka choli daman sa sambandh hai,” explained Arma Ram. Cattle traders and farmers go together like a blouse and skirt, he said, referring to the traditional female dress in large parts of Rajasthan. “If you break this bond, the farmer will rise up to protect it.”


Mathura: Meet the 59-year-old German woman who takes care of sick, abandoned cows in her gaushala

Back in 1978, a German woman came to India as a tourist and had no idea what life had in store for her. Years later, Friederike Irina Bruning is still here and is a saviour for at least 1200 sick, injured and mostly abandoned cows. She has her own cowshed known as Surbhai Gauseva Niketan.

The 59-year-old woman told PTI that when she came as a tourist, she understood that to progress in life “you need a guru”.
She then went in search of a guru in Radha Kund in Mathura where a neighbour requested her to buy a cow. She did that and also purchased books on cows and learnt Hindi. And that was when her life changed.

“I saw that people of late abandon their cows when they grow old and stop giving milk,” she told PTI. Over time she developed a deep love for cows and opened an ashram.

Fondly called Sudevi Mataji, she now has a large family of cows and calves in the the town of Radha Kund. “They are like my children and I cannot leave them”.

In her 3,300 sq. yard gaushala, she takes care of the animals by providing food and medicine and despite not having sufficient place anymore she still does not refuse when someone leaves a sick or injured cow outside her ashram.

The cows needing special attention are kept at one place and blind or badly injured ones are kept in a separate enclosure.

For this she has not received any help from the local authorities and uses money she receives by renting her property back in Berlin. “Initially my father used to send some money but now he is a senior citizen. Every year, I visit Berlin to see him. He is not well. I am not getting any help from the local authorities, but somehow managing my work,” she said.

According to Bruning around Rs 22 lakh is required per month for medicines, foodgrain and salaries of about 60 workers.

Although, the situation is getting difficult she said she cannot close this. “I have 60 people working here and they all need money to support their children and family and I have to take care of my cows, who are my children.”

But finances are not the only troublesome bit, she still has not received a long-term visa from the Indian government and has to get it renewed every year.

“I cannot take Indian nationality as I would lose rental income from Berlin. My father was working in German Embassy in India. Its the money of my parents that I have put into this gaushala,” she told PTI.

Source : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/german-woman-turns-saviour-for-sick-abandoned-cows-in-mathura/1/1049769.html

Date : 18 September 2017


Meet animals’ best friends

BENGALURU: As a child, stray animals were her best friends. Every time her animal companions went missing from the streets in the vicinity, ​she would cry for hours.​ Almost two decades later, a lot has changed in​ the​ life of Rekha Prasad. But one thing hasn’t for this IT firm​ employee​: her soft corner for animal​s. While she had one pet dog to play with as a child, today she is ​the ​proud owner of dozens of stray dogs. Cats and birds also find comfort at her home. ​Realising the need to have an organisation that rescues abandoned animals and those that are illegally bred, she started the Happy Paws Foundation with a group of like-minded animals lovers.

“It is difficult to count my family members now,” quips Rekha​, who once even abandoned her Hong Kong trip midway to take care of an injured stray dog. “I was scrolling down my Facebook page to while away time at the hotel room in Hong Kong where I had gone for some personal works. Somehow I stumbled upon the news of an abandoned dog at Dronachalam in Andhra Pradesh. I started feeling distraught at the plight of the canin​e​. I immediately cancelled all my plans there and booked a flight back to India the same day,” she recalls.

After ​her mother’s death, ​she was advised by many to abandon the only adopted dog back then​. “But I could not leave my best friend alone. Instead, I got a few more friends with paws. Not just dog, but all animals can be great friends to us. We only need to understand them and be compassionate towards their needs. They will shower you with unconditional love,” says Rekha. Last year, when Rekha found it tough to manage both her family and a challenging IT job, she looked for ​kindred souls ​to care of the animals and found Rajesh N, Dr Aswin, Rashmi J C and Shrikar Venkatesh who were as compassionate towards animals as her.

While Rajesh and Rashmi are students, Shrikar is a wildlife photographer. Dr Aswin is the in-house vet. Happy Paws Foundation was registered in October 2016. Since then, Rekha and her team have been working relentlessly to ensure welfare of animals, be it pets or strays. All of them strive to rescue and rehabilitate the animals,​ ​while educating people on cruelty and abandonment.

Rajesh has been involved in numerous rescue operations. He has also held several awareness programmes for people from all walks of life. Dr Aswin’s invaluable advice during rescues have saved quite a few lives. He treats all the cases with utmost care and even fosters the animals to recovery. Rashmi has a special soft spot for cats and is quite ​clued in to their behaviour. She is also a proud vegan. Shrikar brings his sharp thinking ability to every little and big activi​ty of the HPF.

The group members have got​ several dogs suffering from cancer​ treated​. The NGO rescues several abandoned and stray animals and helps them get a permanent home with caring owners. Epileptic ​or old dogs that have gone deaf and blind with age, blind cats, paralyzed cats and other injured animals; all find ​the same warmth in ​the ​company of these members.

​Though they have a shelter for animals, they are now mulling a dedicated cat shelter. ​M​embers are in talks with old age homes to help senior citizens with specially trained therapy dogs. Happy Paws Foundation depends entirely on public money which comes through donations and fundraiser events. Besides monetary aid, they also collect blankets, towels, medicine and other items for the rescued animals.

Source : http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2017/sep/17/meet-animals-best-friends-1658527–1.html

Date : 18 September 2017


Should Animals Have the Same Rights as Humans?

In 2014, the Supreme Court of India, issued a precedent-setting decision. It extended the mantle of Article 21 of the nation’s constitution, which protects human life and liberty, to all animals: bulls, the court said, have an inalienable right “to live in a healthy and clean atmosphere, not to be beaten, kicked, bitten, tortured, plied with alcohol by humans or made to stand in narrow enclosures amidst bellows and jeers from crowds.”

In Argentina two years later, a chimpanzee named Cecilia, confined alone in a concrete enclosure in a zoo in Mendoza, was sent to a Brazilian sanctuary after a judge declared for her “fundamental right to be born, to live, grow, and die in the proper environment for [her] species.” In July, a Colombian judge, citing the Argentinean precedent, set free an Andean spectacled bear.

For environmental lawyer and UBC Professor David Boyd, author of The Rights of Nature, such legal developments are, “the first cracks in the wall of the way we treat individual animals.” And they are welcome, in-the-nick-of-time, emotionally moving developments too, he adds in an interview: “I just cried when I read the decision in Argentina about Cecilia — it’s really a beautiful judgment.” Even so, it wasn’t as significant as other legal landmarks, Boyd sees unfolding around the world, the ones involving entire ecosystems. “In the past four years, after longstanding negotiations between Indigenous Maori people and the government, New Zealand has passed two laws that are absolutely transformative in terms of our relationship with the natural world.” One turned the Whanganui River, the country’s third-longest, into a legal entity with rights of its own. The other did much the same with Te Urewera, a revered national park, making it “the first place on Earth where humans have relinquished control.”

It all adds up to a potentially transformative moment in the history of humans and the world around them, although, as Boyd delicately puts it, “the precise meaning” of this new relationship is yet to be worked out. The sad lives of charismatic mega-species in captivity — from chimps to elephants to orcas — evokes near total public sympathy. Everywhere, zoos are closing down or busy releasing animals to sanctuaries while turning themselves into research institutions devoted to endangered species. And in the developed world at least, national parks already hold quasi-sacred status. Boyd acknowledges, though, that when activities humans find profitable (factory farming) or pleasurable (horse racing) face the legal firing line, his campaign against “the breathtaking arrogance” behind the human assertion of ownership of the rest of creation is liable to inspire blowback against what critics will call the breathtaking arrogance of lawyers.

The power of the law in rights- and constitution-focused modern societies is precisely why this campaign is primarily legal and not political. Courts are not only more insulated than legislatures from the power of vested economic interests but are — in theory at least — dedicated to seeing justice done even if the heavens should fall, as the legal maxim has it. Moreover, they are faster than legislatures, and the rights they declare are more securely permanent than any law. Progressives in particular have long turned to judges to establish rights that politicians have been hesitant to recognize — it was Canadian courts, not Parliament that established the right to same-sex marriage, to the great relief of cautious, not to say cowardly, MPs.

Boyd is deeply committed to his cause. He has lived on Pender Island, a three-hour ferry ride from Vancouver, for 17 years. “One of the things that drew my partner and I there was the presence of the southern resident killer whales, which swim literally past our house on a regular basis. It’s electrifying to see them, and very painful to know they are down to fewer than 80 individuals. So I’m highly motivated to do what I can in this field.” And that’s before his epiphany about animals in captivity. A few years ago Boyd was swimming along the periphery of a pool too small for decent laps. “Every few seconds I had to make a sharp turn. That was when I had this moment of thinking: this is what it’s like to be an orca in captivity, in a pool that’s a tiny fraction of its natural range.”

However passionate his personal beliefs, Boyd is confident his arguments are not out ahead of public opinion. Some of the aims of fellow rights-of-nature activists startle even him. When Ecuadoreans started talking about putting the rights of nature in their constitution in 2006, “my brain spun 180 degrees on its axis, it was such a radical concept for a lawyer to try and contemplate.” In Canada, Boyd receives an attentive hearing when he points out that while the end he advocates may be revolutionary, the process he envisages is evolutionary. Its modern Western thought on nature — that animals essentially are property — that’s the outlier, he tells people. Traditional Indigenous belief and contemporary scientists are in agreement that humans are more enmeshed in nature and that animals far more conscious and self-aware than Westerners once thought. As for the law, we have been here before: there was a time when slaves were property without basic rights, when in Canada women were not “legal persons.” All rights expansion begins as the unthinkable; it moves from ridicule to discussion to adoption. (That the last step has historically involved violence, Boyd does not add.)

But the argument that resonates most loudly in our alienated era is the same one that turned the tide with the Ecuadorian constitution: the law already accommodates non-human “legal persons,” and the main beneficiaries are corporations. “Proponents there asked citizens what’s more important to the future of life and prosperity on Earth, actual nature or these artificial business fictions? When it was phrased that way, many people who were skeptics became supporters.”

There is no gilding the lily, Boyd says, in either direction, towards rights for nature or continued human supremacy. Humans annually kill 100 billion animals, domestic and wild — an average of 14 per person, meaning far more in the richer parts of the world — and continue to wreak havoc on the habitats of the survivors. The planet’s sixth great extinction rolls on. The World Wildlife Fund Canada’s Living Planet Report, released on Sept. 14, details how half of Canada’s 900 species — mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians — show often catastrophic population declines since 1974. And Canada, according to UBC biologist Sarah Otto, is doing better than the world at large. The “precise meaning” of Boyd’s legal revolution may still be hazy, but at a minimum, he says, it will require immediately “ending the expansion of human settlements and agriculture,” even though demographers calculate the planetary population will increase by another two to three billion before it peaks. Capping human territorial expansion and establishing the rights of nature in a world of hungry people — large numbers of whom still refuse to consider many of their fellow humans as equals — is going to be a long, hard slog.

Boyd doesn’t see another way forward. “In order for us to prevent a catastrophic loss of diversity of life on Earth over the next 100 years, we’re going to have to undergo substantial transformation. Continued incrementalism, which I’ve been working on for much of my career as an environmental lawyer, isn’t getting the job done. You just have to look at the trend lines. To me this notion of nature’s rights has the potential to spur a transformation of our ethics, laws and most importantly our behaviours, in a way that results in a sustainable future not just for humans but for the rest of creation.”

Source : https://weather.com/en-CA/canada/animals/news/animal-rights-humans

Date : 18 September 2017


Bikers to race — and spread awareness — in MTB Himalaya

Shimla, Sep 17 (IANS) Intrepid riders from various nations will this year also attempt to raise awareness through social outreach events in human habitations across inhospitable terrains of Himachal Pradesh at the 13th Hero MTB Himalaya race spanning nine days later this month, event organisers said on Sunday.

From highlighting the importance of donating bone-marrow for patients of leukemia, a team of cyclists will pedal to support charitable causes for the orphaned children of Africa. A biker will be riding to oppose animal abuse.

An eight-member team, led by Jorge Padrones, will support the fight against leukemia through the Josep Carreras Foundation of Spain, Mohit Sood, President of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA), the local club that organises the MTB (mountain bike) Himalaya rally every year, told IANS.

Padrones, 44, will be participating in this race for the third consecutive time.
Another biker Javier Rodriguez Moreno, who has earlier participated in Titan Desert, Corsica Raid and Algarve Bike Challenge, will be accompanying Padrones.

More than 70 riders, including foreigners, will participate in the mountain bike race that will start from Shimla on September 28.

The race, touted as one of the toughest across the globe, will conclude in Dharamsala town, the abode of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, on October 7 after traversing a distance of 650 km over eight stages with an elevation gain of 16,500 metres.

A team of bikers representing Orphans Africa will be imparting education on adopting children.
Rafael Menini, from Brazil, will be participating in this race.

In the Hero MTB Himalaya’s last edition, German photographer Stefan Wiebel, representing the Rocky Mountain MTB team, raised a charity by selling his pictures back home.

This time Wiebel will contribute a part of his charity towards the outreach Mission Smile, a medical charity, to operate upon children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

Portuguese rider Ilda Periera will be riding with an aim to campaign against animal abuse.

“Before men, this earth belongs to animals. Fighting for those who can’t speak becomes utmost important in a world full of greedy people driven by selfish motives,” Periera said in a message to race organisers.

Rally organisers also engage riders for interactions with students in schools along the race route with an aim to enlighten them about the benefits of cycling and issues related to healthcare.

In the last edition, they reached out to over 5,000 students in 35 government schools and 22 villages that fell on their route.

Source : http://www.india.com/news/agencies/bikers-to-race-and-spread-awareness-in-mtb-himalaya-2478008/

Date : 18 September 2017


Meet Sudevi Mataji – the German woman has saved over a thousand cows in Mathura

As many as 1,200 cows – mostly abandoned, sick and injured – have found a saviour in 59- year-old German national Friederike Irina Bruning. When she landed in India from Berlin in 1978 as a tourist, she had no inkling of the life destiny had in store for her.

“I came as a tourist and understood that to progress in life, you need a guru. I went in search of a guru in Radha Kund,” she said while narrating her journey in Mathura. She then bought a cow at the request of a neighbour and since then everything in her life changed.

Bruning purchased books on cows and learnt Hindi.

“I saw that people of late abandon their cows when they grow old and stop giving milk,” she said. Fondly called Sudevi Mataji, she started her cowshed known as ‘Surbhai Gauseva Niketan’.

“They are like my children and I cannot leave them,” she says while referring to the large family of cows and calves in the sleepy town of Radha Kund here.

Once a cow reaches her 3,300 sq yard gaushala, she would take full care of the animals by providing food and medicine.

“Today, I have 1,200 cows and calves. I do not have sufficient place to accommodate more as the place is getting smaller. But still I cannot refuse, when somebody leave a sick or injured cow outside my ashram, I have to take her in,” she said.

Bruning has divided her place in such a manner that cows needing special care are kept at one place. Blind and badly injured needing attention are kept in a separate enclosure.

When asked about the finances, she said as much as Rs 22 lakh per month is required for medicines, foodgrain and salaries of about 60 workers.

“I have some property in Berlin. I get rent from that.

Initially my father used to send some money but now he is a senior citizen. Every year, I visit Berlin to see him. He is not well. I am not getting any help from the local authorities, but somehow managing my work,” she said.

Observing that things are increasingly getting difficult, she said, “I cannot close this. I have 60 people working here and they all need money to support their children and family and I have to take care of my cows, who are my children.” The other major issue was about visa, she said, adding that the Indian government has not given her a long-term visa.

She has to renew the visa every year. “I cannot take Indian nationality as I would lose rental income from Berlin. My father was working in German Embassy in India. It’s the money of my parents that I have put into this gaushala,” she said.

Source : http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-meet-sudevi-mataji-the-german-woman-has-saved-over-a-thousand-cows-in-mathura-2546383

Date : 18 September 2017


US experts to train vets at Delhi Zoo

New Delhi: A team of experts from the US is providing hands-on training to Indian veterinarians at the Delhi zoo on using gas anaesthesia so as to avoid drugs to sedate animals, which have numerous side-effects. Gas anaesthesia is primarily used for sedating cats and dogs, and the training, in which more than 30 vets are participating, is a step forward towards employing it for wildlife in Indian zoos, Delhi zoo director Renu Singh said.

The training is being conducted by experts from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, DC. Budhan S. Pukazhenthi, reproductive physiologist at the institute, said, “Sometimes if you can hold an animal safely, you can do the diagnostics without using any drugs. Gas anaesthesia is one such way of sedating animals by eliminating the need of medical drugs and the numerous side- effects that come with it.” The physiologist said gas anaesthesia is rarely used in Indian zoos and veterinarians in the country lack adequate training in this method.

“Though this technique is primarily used in cats and dogs field, we are trying to introduce it to the wildlife in the Indian zoos,” he said. Besides ensuring the safety of animals, Pukazhenthi explained, using an inhaled (gas) anaesthetic device also gives more flexibility and confidence to the vets.

clinicians. The Delhi zoo director said the training will come handy for the staff in giving best care to the inmates. “As zoo keepers, we often face challenging situations in terms of various zoonotic diseases. Using gas anaesthesia will also help us minimise risks to animals,” she said.

Some animals may carry harmful germs which can infect people and cause illness which are known as zoonotic diseases or zoonoses. Tony Barthel, Curator, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, underlined the importance of anaesthesia in animal diagnosis, and how using injectable drugs for the same purpose could run many risks.

“Gas anaesthesia is just another way of sedating animals, but it is a safer option as injectable drugs may interfere with the medication an animal is already on. A hand injection might also oppress breathing or blood circulation of animals,” he said.

He, however, said the veterinarian attending to the animals is the best judge of his patient’s diagnosis. “For instance, in case of bigger animals, using (inhaled or) gas anaesthesia can be tricky as you should be able to get the animals’ accurate weight and ready the equipment accordingly to monitor their movements,” he said. “But it is crucial for the clinicians to be armed with modern medical paraphernalia,” Barthel said.

Asked why gas anaesthesia is not widely used in India, a Delhi zoo official said the main reason was lack of infrastructure. “Most of the zoos cannot afford a gas anaesthesia machine. Besides, the veterinarians need to be trained in this discipline.” The National Zoological Park, the official name for the Delhi zoo, recently procured its first gas anaesthesia machine

Source : http://www.asianage.com/metros/delhi/180917/us-experts-to-train-vets-at-delhi-zoo.html

Date : 18 September 2017


FIR over alleged bull fight at fair

SHIMLA: An FIR has been registered by the police over alleged bull fight event at Sair fair in Mashobra, 15 km from here, in defiance of high court orders, officials said today.

The bull fight was allegedly organised yesterday at the fair at Mashobra. Rohan Chand Thakur, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla said the mela organising committee was asked not to hold bull fights. However, eye-witnesses claimed that the fight was held and the FIR was registered after ‘preliminary enquiry’, he said. The FIR has been registered against the organisers of the fair who have been booked under relevant sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 but no one has been named, the police said. A case has been registered.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/fir-over-alleged-bull-fight-at-fair/articleshow/60725218.cms

Date : 18 September 2017


End in sight for India’s notorious human safaris

Notorious “human safaris” in India’s Andaman Islands may soon stop, after the authorities announced that a new sea route around the islands will soon open.

The new route will keep tourists off the infamous Andaman Trunk Road, which was built illegally through the forests of the isolated Jarawa tribe.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “Treating the Jarawa as a tourist spectacle was a disgusting practice – it also put their lives in danger. It’s more than time for the human safaris to end. If this sea route can do that, then we welcome it. If not, we’ll carry on campaigning until the Jarawa’s right to determine their own futures and stop being harassed by tourists is secure.”

The road brings a daily invasion of hundreds of tourists into the heart of the Jarawa reserve, who treat the Jarawa like animals in a safari park.

One tourist described his trip: “The journey through tribal reserve was like a safari ride as we were going amidst dense tropical rainforest and looking for wild animals, Jarawa tribals to be specific”.

The Jarawa, like all recently contacted peoples, face catastrophe unless their land is protected.

The human safaris are also dangerous – one Jarawa boy lost his arm after tourists threw food at him from a moving vehicle.

In 2002 India’s Supreme Court ordered the road closed, but it has remained open.

Survival International led a global campaign against the human safaris, calling for a boycott of the Andaman tourist industry until they came to an end. Nearly 17,000 people from around the world pledged not to holiday in the islands in protest.

The boycott will be called off as soon as the Andaman government agrees to ensure that tourists are no longer able to use the road.

Source : http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1709/S00074/end-in-sight-for-indias-notorious-human-safaris.htm

Date : 18 Sep 2017