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Dear [%first_name | Default Value%],
 
After months of speculation and forecasting the last budget of the current government has finally been presented and as the Union finance minister began his speech, it was clear that more than economic agenda, it was political acumen that was at the heart of the budget. In its effort to woo the farmers and rural masses and eyeing the upcoming elections in 2019, the latest budget announced by the government seems to be about agriculture, agriculture and agriculture.
 
The move of allocating a dedicated fund of Rs. 10,000 crores to develop fisheries, aquaculture and animal husbandry sectors to increase animal rearing and production, brings us to question what it means for the animals in the country. And the increased funding, in the absence of strong laws and regulation of the farming sector, will only result in growth and commercialisation without including animal welfare, exacerbating the problem for animals, consumers and the environment at large.
 
Currently, there are negligible laws protecting farmed animals- dairies are often illegal, fisheries are largely unregulated, illegal slaughter is rampant with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, food safety rules & production guidelines openly flouted. Already, about Rs. 200 crore has been set aside for an artificial insemination drive to increase the nation’s cattle population. This allocation will bring about a 15% increase in artificial insemination and a Rs. 15,000-crore jump of value in milk output which is a clear indicator that the government’s only concern is increasing the output of the world’s largest milk producer.
 
But there may be a silver lining. Out of the 4,000 gaushalas that are functional, only a few are in good condition and several of them suffer from the problems of overcrowding, insufficient feed, inadequate medical attention and communicable diseases being spread to healthy animals through contaminated air/water/feed etc. With the strong cow protection agenda of the current government, we are hopeful that at least some funds from this Rs. 10,000 crores would be set aside for better maintenance of these gaushalas backed with strict standards and laws to deal with the growing population of these gentle bovines.
 
Also, it would be interesting to note how the government would address the excessive commodification of fish, one of the most neglected animals, whose lives are measured in tonnes and not in numbers. With various schemes to promote ‘animal industrialisation’, more than half of all the fish consumed each year are now raised on fish farms. Many fish on these farms suffer from parasitic infections, diseases, and debilitating injuries due to them being bred in captivity. Those who survive are starved before they are sent to slaughter, in order to reduce waste contamination during transport.
 
All the commotion around the budget and the fact that animals are entirely absent from the conversation, is a stark reminder to all of us about how insignificant their sentience is to the government in the realm of India’s reform and growth. We at FIAPO, sincerely hope that the government will take notice of the overexploitation of animals and will back this funding by bringing regulation and reforms for a significant improvement in the conditions of farmed animals.
 
Varda Mehrotra, 
Director, 
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO).
Budget 2018: Animal Rights Body wants funds for cow shelters, grazing land
 
With the exponential increase in animal exploitation in the country, there was an immediate need for addressing this issue of animal welfare in the budget. Therefore, there was a demand of increased funds for street animal care, through AWBI and increase in the funds for the establishment and maintenance of animal shelters in the country. Varda Mehrotra, Director,FIAPO, urged the government to allocate special funds for running animal birth control programmes for dogs, regulating slaughterhouses, better maintenance of Gaushalas and for setting up and proper functioning of State Animal Welfare Boards. (Read More) Now, with the government allocating 10,000 crores for the Animal Husbandry and Fisheries departments in their budget that will result in more growth and it is hence critical that this is backed with strong legislation to ensure that animal welfare, human health and environmental concerns are addressed. 
Menchie’s and Fruktville launch vegan menus for Delhiites.
 
2018 is becoming a year of vegan delights for India; with the famous American frozen yogurt brand Menchie’s launching new flavours of vegan sorbets and yogurts soon in Delhi-NCR. (Read More) Previously, natural homemade ice cream company- Fruktville launched a vegan range of desserts at their Select City Walk store in Delhi. The brand has launched a dedicated vegan menu for its patrons having a wide array of choices including 6 popsicles, 5 gelatos, 4 waffles and 2 shakes – by far the biggest vegan dessert selection in India. (Read More
India’s Largest Advocacy Network Campaigns to Spread Veganism
 
India’s largest vegan advocacy network Living Free, comprising of more than 350 activists and NGOs, has reached out to one million people through a methodology of one-on-one interaction in over 60 cities across 21 states in the country. The programme, run by Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations, helps raise awareness about veganism and animal abuse in factory farms through individual outreach. (Read More)
SC to Hear FIAPO’s Plea Against Kambala After 4 Weeks
 
The Supreme Court has said it would hear after four weeks a plea of animal rights’ bodies challenging a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka. A bench will be set up to hear the plea filed by FIAPO and PETA opposing the state government’s bill to legalise the traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka on ground of cruelty being meted out to the animals. (Read More)
Bull Dies of Cardiac Arrest During Jallikattu
 
veterinarian confirmed that a bull and his tamer died of cardiac arrest during the course of Jallikattu, organised at Allur near Srirangam. Sources said the animal was weak and the melee all around could have taken a toll on the animal. This incident and many more are proof that animals used in this barbaric activity should be protected under all circumstances, and several animal rights organisations are strongly advocating with the courts to put a ban on Jallikattu for good. (Read More)
#DontGetMilked: How FIAPO Is Championing Animal Welfare Responsibility With Its Immersive Nationwide Ad Campaign
 
Giving a voice to the voiceless, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) has been running a nationwide campaign #DontGetMilked to enlighten the public about the cruel practices of the dairy industry, where bovines have untreated wounds, not given vaccinations, artificially inseminated and more. With intriguing outdoor ads, immersive consumer engagement initiatives and powerful digital content, FIAPO is taking on a tragic yet important issue head-on. Swati Poddar, Campaign Lead, DontGetMilked says that the objective of the campaign is to help people make informed choices about the food they eat and the benefits of a compassionate, plant-based diet. (Read More)
Take Action
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a name given to non-profit animal welfare organisations around the country. They operate independently and campaign for animal welfare, assist in the prevention of cruelty to animals cases, rehabilitation and finding homes for maltreated and unwanted animals that can be re-established into new homes. Currently, India has SPCA’s in major cities like Noida, Thane, Chennai, Kolkata, Cuttack, Punjab, Gujarat and Mumbai.
 
FIAPO acknowledges and thanks all SPCA’s in the country for their amazing work, saving thousands of animals across the country every year. They have helped create a better society for animals in India and worldwide. Visit them in your nearest city, and if you wish to start an SPCA in your city write to us at mail@fiapo.org.  
Meet A Member
Tails of Compassion, a home for injured and distressed animals in New Delhi, was founded on August 2017 with an aim to help animals with appropriate treatments, shelter and love. Since inception, they have helped over 40 dogs in the city, and 25 of them are currently sheltering with them.
 
With the current infrastructural facilities, Tails of Compassion has the capacity to house dogs, but with an increase in the quality of infrastructure and better staff, they have plans to expand to other animals like cows and pigs. Meet them on their social media channels to know more about them. 
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Coming Up
 
 
Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO)
E-18A, East of Kailash,
New Delhi.