Community Animal Rescue, Feeding, and Mobile Veterinary Services Must Be Included in ‘Essential Services’ Says PETA India

For Immediate Release:
27 March 2020 

Meet Ashar; [email protected]  

Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]

In Recent Address, Prime Minister Modi Urged Citizens to Feed Community Animals   

Mumbai – Many “community” animals including dogs, cats, and birds are in danger of starvation and of suffering from untreated injuries and diseases during the COVID-19 lockdown if caretakers cannot reach and care for them, so People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent an urgent appeal to Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray to expand the definition of “essential services” to include emergency aid for animals, community feeding, and mobile veterinary services. The Maharashtra state government notification issued on 25 March 2020 currently only includes static establishments such as veterinary hospitals, animal care centres, and pet shops, but does not mention vital services that must be carried out in the field. In his address to the nation on the very same day, Prime Minister Modi said, “Due to the lockdown, animals are also facing trouble. I appeal to people to take care of animals around them.” And earlier in the week, on 23 March, MP Maneka Gandhi instructed feeders to keep up their work to prevent the starvation of cows, dogs and other community animals. 

In its letter, PETA India informed CM Thackeray that its office has been inundated with calls from animal service providers who are now being prevented by police officers and district administrations from attending to community animals. The group urges the CM to ask district administrations and police forces to protect these service providers and volunteers.  

“In the absence of caretakers to provide basic food, water and vital veterinary care, it is likely that animals will starve, their injures will go untreated, and they may face infectious diseases, including those that can affect humans, like rabies,” said PETA India Associate Manager Meet Ashar. “We implore the Hon’ble CM Shri Uddhav Thackarey Ji to make sure that our community animals, who, as the Prime Minister recognises, are part of India’s everyday life, get help, given that they spread only love, protection, and affection.” 

The central government advisory body the Animal Welfare Board of India had issued an advisory on 23 March urging state governments and union territories to allow the feeding of community animals by animal welfare volunteers. Another circular issued by the central Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying on 23 March mandated that veterinary services and animal shelters be allowed to function as normal and that veterinary services be included in the list of “essential services”. 

PETA India has an active, vital, and effective animal rescue team that works around the clock to respond to calls regarding animals in distress. The team can be reached on (0) 98201 22602. 

PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. 

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