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  • Cosmetic Tests on Animals Removed by BIS

    Written by Erika-G

    Following an intense campaign by PETA India and work by MP Maneka Gandhi, Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Dr GN Singh announced that testing cosmetics and their ingredients on animals will not be permitted in India. The landmark announcement was made during the Bureau of Indian Standards PCD 19 Cosmetics Sectional Committee meeting, on which PETA India's science policy advisor, Dr Chaitanya Koduri, has an official seat. Earlier this week, Dr Koduri had held a private meeting with Dr Singh urging him to stop animal tests for cosmetics. As a result, a decision was made to remove the last remaining animal test from IS 4011:1997 Methods of test for safety evaluation of cosmetics.

    PETA India's campaign has received support from high places. Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi recently urged the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to consider PETA India's request for a ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients through the National Advisory Council Office, while senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lal Krishna Advani had sought the same through his office. Santosh Chowdhury, the newly appointed Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare; Dr Mirza Mehboob, former Cabinet Minister of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare for the government of Jammu and Kashmir; and Yashodhara Raje Scindia, former Minister for Tourism, Sports and Youth Welfare for the government of Madhya Pradesh had all sent strong appeals to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in favour of a total ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals. Mehboob is also a medical practitioner who did his MBBS at Srinagar Medical College in Jammu and Kashmir. MP Maneka Gandhi has been working closely with PETA India's science policy advisor, Dr Chaitanya Koduri, to push for a ban.

    Multinational companies The Body Shop and LUSH as well as Indian companies Trumount Cosmoceuticals, Future Skin, Omved Lifestyle and Shahnaz Husain and others had also written to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in full support of a ban after hearing from PETA. The Washington DC-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and officials from the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Mahatma Gandhi–Doerenkamp Center for Alternatives to Use of Animals in Life Science Education and the Animal Welfare Board of India, a statutory advisory body, had also all expressed support for the ban.

    In 2012, the cast and crew of Farah Khan's Joker, directed by Shirish Kunder and starring Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Chitrangda Singh, had joined PETA in urging the government to ban cosmetic testing on animals. Chitrangda posed on behalf of PETA and Joker with the aliens from the film for the campaign. The ad was shot by ace photographer Atul Kasbekar.

    DCGI's announcement comes in the wake of the European Union's and Israel's bans on the testing of cosmetics products and their ingredients on animals, which includes a ban on sales of animal-tested cosmetics, regardless of where those tests were conducted. Israel has also banned the testing of household products and their ingredients on animals as well as the sale of such products if they have been tested on animals. Household products include cleaners and detergents. PETA India is also campaigning for an end to the testing of household products and their ingredients on animals in India.

    Please note, however, that at present, cosmetics and personal-care products tested on animals can still be sold in India. Please do check PETA's list of companies that do not test on animals before you go shopping.

    PETA is now working to urge the Indian government to implement a legislative ban and to ban the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics and household products.

  • Create an Animal Rights Buzz on Campus

    Written by Erika-G

    College is all about exploring new ideas and learning to make a difference in the world around you, but with classes, homework, exams, and extracurricular activities piling up, the things you care about most – like helping animals – sometimes get shoved to the bottom of the heap. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can help animals, have fun, and gain valuable experience, no matter how little time or money you have. All it takes are:

    • A desire to help animals. That’s the most important ingredient.
    • Literature and other materials, which are all totally free. Just write to us at youth@petaindia.com and we will shoot some your way, pronto!
    • Just one hour a week. (Face it, that’s probably less time than you spend watching cat videos on YouTube on any given day!)

    Once you’ve got all that, you’re ready to start creating a buzz about animal rights on your campus. PETA Youth put together these fun and easy ideas to get you started:

    1. Chalk sidewalks or blackboards with animal-friendly messages, email youth@petaindia.com before you do.  Check out www.petaindia.com to get inspired by our campaigns and lift slogans from our stickers and ads. Don’t worry, unlike your Lit prof, we encourage you to copy our stuff!

    2. Wear your heart on your sleeve (literally). Pick up a plain t-shirt, some markers and fabric paints, and design your own animal rights tee. Need inspiration? Contact us for some cool ideas.

    3. Leave PETA’s Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit and flyers in the canteen, the gym, coffee shops and other places you visit. Just ask, and we’ll send you a stack of ‘em.

    4. Hang animal rights flyers in the common room and on notice boards in departments and classrooms. We know you are resourceful and can get it done!

    5. Write an article about the cruelty of leather, the importance of buying only cruelty-free cosmetics or another animal issue for your college magazine or newspaper. Do your research and make it gripping! Bonus: Getting your name in print totally looks good on a résumé.

    6. Deck out your spare notebooks and folders by stencilling them with pro-animal slogans, PETA stickers or your own artwork and leave them around for some lucky folks to find. 

    7. Whenever you use a college computer, leave a PETA India investigation video playing before you walk away. Visit PETA India’s official YouTube page for tons of eye opening videos. If your college computer settings block YouTube, fear not, we can send you the vids on DVD.

    8. Say it with banners. Hang pro-animal banners wherever they’re allowed. Get permission if you have to. The more visible the spot, the better. 

    9. Plaster your bag with PETA Youth badges and stickers. Why haven’t you done this already?

    10. Sell vegan food. Snag some tasty recipes (vegan cookies, anyone?) and set up a small table at a busy spot on campus. You’ll introduce your fellow students to some nom-tastic vegan food and make a few bucks. You could even donate the proceeds to your favourite animal rights organisation.

    11. Grab your buddies and host an information table at college events, festivals or concerts. We’ll partner with you, send you all the materials you need and show you how to grab people’s attention and basically be a total rock star for animals.

    However you choose to speak up for animals, we’re here for you every step of the way. We’ll help you get people thinking about animal rights at your college and make sure you ace animal advocacy!

  • Fantastic Animal Fathers

    Written by PETA

    Sure, human dads will slip you a couple of bucks and give you lots of advice – but can they give birth? Male sea horses can. PETA hopes that while you're praising your family's patriarch this Father's Day, you'll also remember that some of the best dads in the world can be found in the animal kingdom:

    • Seahorses: The "Mr Mums" of the marine world, male sea horses carry up to 2,000 fertilised eggs in pouches in their stomachs until they hatch. Even after the babies are born, they stay inside the pouch until they are ready to venture out on their own.

    • Microhylid frogs: These frogs from New Guinea take family road trips to a new extreme. Once babies hatch, up to 24 froglets climb onto their father's back as he hops 50 feet every night, dropping the froglets off along the way to begin a new life on their own.

    • Darwin's rheas: Thought your dad could be overprotective at times? Darwin's rheas, also known as South American ostriches, are so protective of their children that they routinely rush cowboys on horseback and have even been known to attack small airplanes on the ground if they get too close to their brood.

    • Marmosets: These little monkeys do everything but attend Lamaze class. Fathers assist during labour by biting off the umbilical cord and cleaning up the afterbirth. They also let mom get some R&R by taking care of the kids when she's not nursing them.

      

    • Sandgrouse: These pigeon-like birds sponge off their fathers – literally. Living in areas where water is sparse, fathers fly as many as 50 miles to get water for their offspring. After they soak up the water in their feathers, they fly home and let their chicks suckle the moisture from their bodies.

    • Emperor Penguins: Protecting their eggs is just the tip of the iceberg. While the female leaves the colony for the winter, the male incubates the egg by putting it on his feet and covering it with a skin fold to keep it warm. The males can't go out and feed, so they fast for four months until the chicks hatch.

    • Red jungle fowl: Red jungle fowl are the progenitors of the domestic chicken. Fathers not only protect both hens and chicks from predators but also introduce chicks to the pecking order when they are just a week old and teach them the ways of the world in the first seven weeks after they are born. 

    • Lions: Just ask Mufasa how much these big cats love their cubs. We like to call this guy the ultimate "watch dad." While the female lion does most of the hunting for the family, it's the mane-sporting "man of the house" who watches over his babies and fights to the death for their safety. With up to a dozen cubs to mind at once, the King of the Jungle has no shortage of daycare responsibilities.

    All dads deserve to be honoured – whether they have fins, feathers, fur or a cardigan. This Father's Day, honour animal dads, too, by practicing kindness and compassion toward all animals.

  • Great Father's Day Gifts

    Written by PETA

    He's always there to dole out advice or rupees when the going gets rough. Your dad is the greatest dad in the world, so this Father's Day, show him how much he means to you by presenting him with one of the following cruelty-free presents:

    

    1)    A Fabulous Vegan Father's Day Feast: Wow your dad with your culinary skills by whipping up a special meatless meal for him on his special day. Nothing says "I care" like treating his taste buds to a humane and heart-healthy homemade dinner!

    2)    Fatherly Fragrances: The best thing about giving your dad a cruelty-free fragrance from The Body Shop or Lush is the good karma that comes from buying a product that wasn't tested on animals.

    3)    Leather-Free Loot: Leather goods are bad, so treat your dad to something better, like a classy non-leather bag from V Designs (featured in photograph) or a stylish skin-free wallet from Baggit. Stylish leather-free shoes, wallets and belts are also available from vegan companies like Compassion Avenue, Senso Vegetarian and Aurum Co.

    4)    A 'Snappy' New Camera: For a picture-perfect Father's Day, surprise your dad with a Nikon or Sony camera.

    5)    A Back Massager: Sometimes dads need to be "kneaded" (especially after a long hectic workday). Pay him back for all his years of hard work by helping him take care of his back with a back seat massager or a full back Shiatsu massager. And don't forget – animals need you to have their backs too!

    6)    Game Tickets: Whether he's crazy about cricket or mad about music, your dad will be your biggest fan if you take him to a match or a concert. Plus, it's a great way to score some quality time with him!

    Fathers of the animal kingdom are not that different from our own beloved dads. This Father's Day, when you honour your dad, honour animal dads, too, by practicing kindness and compassion toward all animals.

    Happy Father's Day!


  • Urgent: Monsoon Pups Up for Adoption!

    Written by Erika-G

    PETA urgently needs your help to save dogs in trouble from the monsoon rains. If you can provide a permanent, happy home for a puppy or two in need, please let us know as soon as possible. Sadly, pups are at risk of drowning in the rains, and we've been getting a lot of calls.

     

    One of those calls was from Madhuri Dixit, who recently interrupted the shoot of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa so that she, Dr Shriram Nene and the show's director, Saahil Chhabria, could immediately contact PETA for help with seven pups who were struggling in the downpour. Madhuri, Dr Nene and Saahil stayed with the puppies until help arrived.

    There are other ways that you can help. Help curb the homeless-dog crisis by pledging to have your canine companion sterilized and by supporting the sterilization efforts of NGOs. Urge your friends and family to choose to adopt a needy dog from an animal shelter or the street, and never patronize pet stores and breeders.

    Share this post with anyone you know who may be looking to welcome a dog into their home.

     

  • Madhuri Dixit Helps Pups Now Up for Adoption

    Written by Erika-G

    Recently, long-time PETA supporter Madhuri Dixit was at Filmistan with her husband, Dr Shriram Nene, for the shoot of her show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, when she saw seven puppies drenched from the previous night's rain and struggling for their lives. Madhuri interrupted the shoot, and she, Dr Nene and the show's director, Saahil Chhabria, immediately contacted PETA for help and stayed with the puppies until help arrived. These puppies and others found struggling to survive in the monsoon rains now need to be adopted. Interested persons can contact PETA at Info@petaindia.org.

    Across India, stray dogs and cats struggle to survive on the streets. Many of them starve to death or are injured, abused or hit by vehicles. Countless others are left to languish in animal shelters because there aren't enough good homes for them.

    Sterilising one female dog can prevent 67,000 births in six years, and sterilising one female cat can prevent 420,000 births in seven years. Sterilisation helps keep animals off the streets and out of shelters, and sterilised animals also live longer, healthier lives and are less likely to roam, fight or bite.

    This isn't the first time that Dixit has helped animals. A few months ago, she saw a crow hanging from a wire from her window and quickly called her friends at PETA to help free the bird. In 2001, after learning that elephants were being mercilessly killed in Assam, Dixit sent a letter on behalf of PETA India to officials in that region.

    Help save lives by choosing to adopt, instead of buying, dogs and cats. Please also pledge to practice animal birth control by sterilising your companion animals to help them lead longer and healthier lives.

  • Adah Sharma Jailed for Caged Birds

    Written by Erika-G

    You'll soon see her magic again on the silver screen, but you've never seen her like this before: dressed in white attire to resemble a bird, Bollywood's sizzling hottie Adah Sharma peered through bars while locked up in a cage and holding a sign that reads, "Let Birds Fly Free. Don't Cage Them". Her point? That birds were born to be free and that locking them in cages and denying them that freedom and the opportunity to fly is cruel.

    "How would you feel if for no reason you were kidnapped from your home, stuffed into a box, and transported far away, only to live the rest of your days in a crammed up jail, not being able to choose what you eat and who your partner is?" says Adah. "Birds enjoy their freedom just as we do. If you really love birds, don't cage them – buy a pair of binoculars and watch them spread their wings and reach for the sky."

    Sharma's performances in the Bollywood films 1920 and Phhir were publicly acclaimed. Soon, she will be seen in the much-anticipated Hum Hain Raahi Car Ke with Sanjay Dutt and Juhi Chawla.

    When birds are caged, these same vibrant animals become depressed and withdrawn. Some people force birds to endure wing-clipping so that the animals cannot fly away, yet flying is as natural and as important to birds as walking is to humans. When birds are captured and packed into small boxes for shipping, many suffer and die in transit, usually from broken wings and legs, dehydration, starvation and stress.

    Keeping birds in cages is both cruel and often illegal. The government has banned the capture and trade of all 1,200 species of indigenous birds in India. Despite the law, birds, including munias, mynas, parrots, owls, hawks, peacocks, parakeets and other species, are openly sold in markets.

    The best way to stop this cruelty is never to buy birds and to discourage others from buying them. You can help save your feathered friends by pledging never to cage them! 


     

     

  • Legal Notice Served to Free Sunder

    Written by Erika-G

    In August 2012, the Maharashtra Forest Minister ordered SWH Naqvi, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) for wildlife, Maharashtra, to move Sunder, the 13-year-old elephant who has been kept chained inside a dark shed at Jyotiba Temple for six years, to a wildlife rehabilitation centre identified by PETA. But the PCCF and temple authorities have not complied with this order or with the Central Zoo Authority's recommendations for improving Sunder's living conditions and have instead allowed Vinay Kore, a local member of the legislative assembly and the person who donated Sunder to the temple, to reportedly hide him in a dark, heavily guarded poultry shed near a dairy facility at Amrut Nagar (Warananagar), Kolhapur. In response, PETA India's lawyer and India's leading animal advocate, Raj Panjwani, has sent a legal notice to the PCCF, Jyotiba Temple authorities and Kore.

    Sunder has been kept chained by temple authorities since 2007 and has scars covering his body, a severely injured eye that was likely caused by a beating and a hole in his ear that was caused by an ankus, an iron rod with a hook at the end. Constant physical and psychological abuse can cause captive Indian elephants to lash out, as Sunder did in August. He became violent and tore down a pillar as he tried to flee his handlers. He was subdued and returned to captivity.

    The Forest Minister's order came shortly after this incident as a result of a rigorous campaign led by PETA. Pamela Anderson and former Beatle Paul McCartney lent their support to the campaign by writing letters to government officials.

    You can help Sunder. Take action now.

  • PETA, MAFSU Hold National Veterinary Workshop

    Written by Erika-G

    After hearing from PETA calling for an end to veterinary science instruction using the corpses of animals killed specifically for dissection for anatomy lessons, Maharashtra Animal & Fishery Sciences University (MAFSU) is phasing out the cruel practice. In a letter sent to its various colleges throughout the state, MAFSU wrote, "Replacing live animals with advanced technology is not only humane but also a legal requirement as per Chapter IV of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960". 

    In addition, the university – in association with PETA and InterNICHE – is organising a national workshop to familiarise anatomy and surgery department faculty from veterinary colleges all over India with humane methods of educating students, such as obtaining cadavers ethically and using models and computer simulation programmes.

    The keynote speakers at the 6 June 2013 workshop at Bombay Veterinary College include Professor AK Misra, the vice chancellor of MAFSU; Lt Gen (Retd) Dr Narayan Mohanty, the president of the Veterinary Council of India; and Maj Gen (Retd) Dr RM Kharb, Chair of the Animal Welfare Board of India. Professor MSA Kumar from Tufts University and Nick Jukes from InterNICHE  will be the lead facilitators.  

    More than 70 delegates from the surgery and anatomy departments of 37 veterinary colleges in India will attend the workshop including faculty from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattishgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Orissa, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Utter Pradesh and West Bengal.

    Every year, an estimated 1,000 calves are killed in India to teach veterinary anatomy and surgery to students, and thousands of frogs, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits suffer and die in college laboratories. Nearly every published comparative study in science-education literature has concluded that non-animal methods – including computer simulations, interactive CD-ROMs, films, charts and lifelike models – teach anatomy and complex biological processes as well as or better than inhumane and archaic animal laboratories.

    You can help. Contact PETA to report cruelty to animals at your university or college by writing to info@petaindia.org. 

  • Tune In to Animal Rights on No TV Day

    Written by Erika-G

    The Hindustan Times has declared June 1 No TV Day. No TV?! What on Earth are you going to do with your time?! Don't worry – we've got plenty of fun, animal-friendly ideas. Instead of watching the "idiot box", try doing something meaningful for animals. You can do the following five easy things with your spare time on 1 June – and any other day of the year:

     

    1. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Nothing on TV is as cute as a kitten racing around, chasing a laser light or a ball of yarn, or just taking a quick nap in your lap. And you can have fun, do a good deed and get some exercise by walking a lonely dog. While you're there, consider helping out with some chores – cleaning, filing, etc. – because the hardworking shelter staff needs all the help that they can get.
    2. Stroll on the beach with your best buddy. Of course, don't forget about your own animal companions. They need attention and exercise, too. You could take your dog for a leisurely walk to the beach or a nearby park to run and play.
    3. Whip up a vegan dinner for your friends or family members. Be sure to invite the meat-eaters. It will help bring you all closer together and show your relatives that vegan fare can be tasty, healthy and easy to make. Hand out the recipe, or share some of PETA's tips on going vegan.
    4. Join PETA! We'd love to have you on board, and it takes only a few minutes to make a membership donation and urge your friends and neighbours to do the same.
    5. Get active for animals. Check out PETA India's action alerts and help neglected, abused and exploited animals by writing letters, sending e-mails and making phone calls to companies and politicians, encouraging them to be kind to animals.

    Easy, huh? And we bet you can come up with even more ideas to fill those typical TV-watching hours to help animals. So what will you do instead of watching television? We'd love to know.

     

     

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