For Immediate Release:
22 May 2021
Harshil Maheshwari; [email protected]
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Advisory Also Recommends Including Veterinary Service Providers, Workers With Animal Welfare Organisations, and Animal Feeders as Frontline Workers
New Delhi – Following an appeal from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the central government body the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has issued an urgent advisory dated 21 May requesting that states and union territories allocate sufficient funds for feeding community animals, including dogs, cats, and birds – as Odisha has done – and ensure the effective distribution of food to them. The AWBI warns that the current pandemic situation and curfew restrictions have resulted in hindrance for most people to feed community animals, which may lead to starvation and decreased immunity among animals, and they may become susceptible to infectious diseases. The AWBI has also recommended that states and union territories designate veterinary service providers, workers with animal welfare organisations, and animal feeders as frontline workers to ensure that they’re able to keep providing animals with veterinary care, food, and other animal welfare services.
The AWBI advisory is available for download upon request,
“Because lockdowns have shut down restaurants and kept people indoors, community animals will starve and suffer unless we help them,” says PETA India Senior Advocacy Officer Harshil Maheshwari. “PETA India joins the AWBI in calling for funds for community animal food in every state and union territory along with recognition as frontline workers for those who provide animals in need with uninterrupted essential services.”
PETA India’s office has been inundated with reports that because lockdown restrictions have reduced restaurant food waste, community animals and birds are in dire need of food. The group is accordingly encouraging kind people to continue putting out water and feeding community animals during lockdowns, noting that it can be done while complying with basic protocols, such as wearing a mask and maintaining distance from others. PETA India also encourages everyone to keep an eye out for animals in distress and call its animal rescue team on (0) 9820122602 for assistance.
Recently, on a public interest litigation filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the state government to feed community animals during lockdown, the court directed for the creation of a committee to develop a plan to help animals in need. A similar petition was also filed in the Delhi High Court during the 2020 lockdown.
During the early months of the pandemic, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik received PETA India’s Hero to Animals Award for allocating relief funds to feed community animals. Earlier this month, the group also presented an award to Lucknow Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Chiranjeev Nath Sinha for providing community cows and other animals with food, water, and care.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.