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Maneka Gandhi: Political agenda for animal welfare needed

Bihar Times. 19 March 2009.

Political agenda for Animal welfare needed.

Maneka Gandhi

I am off to campaign for my election to Parliament. I wish I had the courage ( and money) to be in a Green party that actually campaigned for real issues -- the right to water, alternative energy, saving rivers, a far more practical approach to repairing the economy which is people-centric and not industry centric and above all, the creation and maintenance of natural habitats for all creatures.

A survey found that 93% of all welfare enactments have come about through official action and only 7% through NGO activism . This is not because NGOs do not put in enormous effort, it is because they do not carry the force of law. What can be so quickly achieved with a single stroke of a bureaucratic pen takes years of petitions and protests. This is why it is so important to become part of the political process. It is also why the animal welfare movement is seriously handicapped, animals cannot participate in the political process and so carry no clout with policy makers. No voice, no choice.

Those who profit from animal abuse, on the other hand , are a well entrenched, well endowed lobby that uses its votes and money to continue policies that allow the killing and exploitation of creatures...


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