PETA India Marks 11 Years Of Animal Rights Campaigning

For Immediate Release:
11 January 2011

Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Sachin Bangera; [email protected]

Group’s Unique Approach Opens Minds, Hearts and Eyes to the Plight of Animals

Mumbai – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India will celebrate its 11th anniversary on 12 January, and in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, music legend Sir Paul McCartney recently requested that the date be declared a national meatless day. PETA India first threw open its doors in 2000 and has since helped countless animals – from elephants and eels to songbirds and sun bears. Through undercover investigations, colourful campaigns, youth outreach, online networking and celebrity support, PETA India has helped put animal issues front and centre – not only in India but also around the world.

“PETA is getting the message out that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on or use for entertainment, and as we mark our 11th year, we are seeing tremendous progress”, says PETA India Chief Functionary Poorva Joshipura. “We ask everyone, no matter their age or station in life, to show kindness – the ultimate virtue – to every living being.”

Some of PETA India’s notable victories and accomplishments for animals include the following:

• PETA investigated the cruel underbelly of the Indian leather industry and revealed that cows, buffaloes and other animals are transported to slaughter in such severely crowded conditions that many suffer broken bones or die en route.
• Designer Hemant Trivedi stopped working with the International Leather Fair in Chennai after being contacted by PETA India about the cruelty of the leather trade, and he gave up using leather altogether. Anita Dongre and Rina Shah are among the other designers who are leather-free.
• PETA rescued 19 monkeys and other animals from the National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health and 37 monkeys and two goats from the National Institute of Virology, at which animals were kept in dank, dark, filthy conditions.
• Following a campaign by PETA, the Medical Council of India agreed to stop requiring medical colleges to use animals in training courses.
• PETA helped persuade the University Grants Commission to consider banning the dissection of animals for zoology and life sciences courses in colleges and universities. Fifteen Indian universities have informed PETA that they have phased out animal dissection on their campuses for these courses.

• PETA wrote to every Indian university that has a pharmacy college and asked each to replace crude and cruel animal experiments with progressive and humane non-animal methods. So far, nine universities have assured PETA that they have ended animal experimentation.
• PETA has rescued dozens of animals from neglect and abuse in zoos and circuses, including three bears who were languishing in cramped and faeces-filled cages, seven lions who were teased and abused by visitors for years at the Pratap SinghUdyan Zoo in Sangli and 10 tigers and nine lions from the Empire Circus.
• After PETA gathered signatures and prepared a report detailing how elephants suffer when they are forced to walk on congested roads, numerous cities prohibited elephants from entering city limits.
• To encourage the implementation of the Maharashtra Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies’ ban on the use of bullocks to transport kerosene in Mumbai, PETA donated a diesel-powered auto rickshaw to the owner of a bullock-drawn cart during a ceremony near the Sewri Railway Station. The weary bullock is now in the care of PETA’s Animal Rahat rescue programme.
• The Central Zoo Authority announced a ban on elephants in zoos. The move came after years of campaigning by PETA against cruelty to elephants in zoos.
• PETA has used colourful street theatre–style demonstrations to bring attention to important issues. In one demonstration, a volunteer showered on the street behind a curtain that read, “1 kg of Meat = 1 Year of Showers. Clean Your Conscience: Go Vegan!” In another protest, a volunteer held a replica of a severed cow’s head outside the International Leather Goods Fair in Kolkata and urged passersby to go leather-free.
• Through its youth-outreach division, petaDishoom, and with the help of its active Street Team volunteers, PETA has spread the word about animal rights to an ever-widening circle of college students both online and on campus. The group has garnered the high-profile support of dozens of top bands and musicians – from local bands such Parikrama to international rappers such as Sean Kingston.
• PETA’s free humane education programme, Compassionate Citizen, is in use by teachers across India. The programme is designed to teach children kindness towards animals.
• PETA India supports Animal Rahat, a programme that provides veterinary care and relief to working animals in the sugar belts of Maharashtra.

PETA has also been able to advance its campaigns through the support of celebrity volunteers. John Abraham, R Madhavan, Shahid Kapoor, Trisha Krishnan, Pamela Anderson and Lara Dutta are just a few of the stars who have joined hands with PETA to advocate animal protection issues.

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