For Immediate Release:
16 November 2021
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Monica Chopra; [email protected]
Delhi – After a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India against Zee News, the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) passed an order yesterday observing that the channel was in violation of broadcasting standards and guidelines. The complaint was made after the channel irresponsibly mischaracterised a PETA India billboard campaign appealing to people to respect cows by not stealing their skin for leather.
A copy of the order is available for download upon request.
PETA India’s Raksha Bandhan–themed billboard urged everyone to protect cows, as we do human sisters, and encouraged people to go leather-free for life. Although the billboard was in celebration of the protective spirit of Raksha Bandhan, Zee News sensationally portrayed PETA India’s campaign as having an ulterior motive. Zee News has now been directed to remove the problematic content wherever it still appears.
This is the second time Zee News has been taken to task by the broadcasting authority for misrepresenting PETA India’s messaging. Previously, Zee News mischaracterised PETA India’s sharing of a vegan ghee recipe to help prevent routine dairy industry cruelty, such as the killing or abandonment of male calves, as they do not produce milk. Zee News was ordered to issue PETA India a public apology.
“PETA India thanks the news broadcasting authority for recognising that our ads and appeals are for decency, kindness, and action to spare animals cruelty and slaughter and that Zee News was wrong to attempt to discredit them,” says PETA India CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate.
Cows, buffaloes, and other animals used for leather in India are often crammed onto vehicles so tightly that their bones break. The throats of those who survive this ordeal are cut in full view of others at the slaughterhouse, and for many, dismembering and skinning begins while they’re still conscious. Leather production is also detrimental to human health and the environment: run-off from tanneries poisons rivers and streams, harming all life within, and has been linked to cancer, respiratory infections, and other conditions in humans.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that synthetic leather and other animal-friendly options are available at nearly every major shoe and clothing shop in the country.